Welcoming people to church is a very important part of our ministry. It can be a very nerve-wracking thing to come to a strange church, let alone if no-one comes and talks to you. Failure to warmly welcome can put people off in the blink of an eye. The flip-side of this, of course, is that good welcoming does wonders. If people have a good experience at the door of the church, they are probably more likely to have a good experience in it. Welcoming is a profoundly Christian thing to do because God, in Christ, has welcomed us all into his family. There is no one who does not deserve to be warmly received when they come to church.
All the handouts will be in the blue dispatch box for your congregation, with a pink manifest sheet that lists the contents – do look at this sheet!
The welcomers' job begins before people start arriving for the service. At this point the things to do are:
Locate the offertory bags (Usually at St John's they're in the side store-room; at St Oswald's in the vestry; at St Alban's ???)
Start folding and assembling handouts. Handouts consist of
a white service sheet (1-3 sheets of paper each), folded
a yellow insert with the news and sermon outline
sometimes, extra leaflets or brochures – these will be mentioned on the manifest sheet
Stay on the door for at least ten minutes after the service has started
After this, it is good for one welcomer to stay near the back so that they can greet anyone who happens to wander in during the service.
The final task for the welcomers is to pass around the offertory bags. This is normally done during the final song. Don't forget to cover every pew! After the bags have been passed back through the congregation, they are taken to the front and placed on the table.