Church Welcome: 5 Ways to Welcome Visitors to your Congregation / Ways to Greet a Church Congregation
Church Welcome: Most churches, if not all, make it a point to greet their congregation before the Sunday service begins. Greeting the members of your congregation shows that you value their presence and you are happy to see them every Sunday. To make their congregations feel welcome, church leaders are looking for the best way to greet them. Ways to Greet a Church Congregation
Before we look at 5 ways to greet a church congregation, let us look at why the greeting is important.
1) To Make the Congregation Feel at Home.
People are looking for a home church and when they find one that makes them feel welcome, they are bound to stay and become members. By looking for interesting ways to greet your congregation, you are letting them know that they are valuable to you, enough to warrant a special greeting.
- Opening the Outer Doors and Holding it open for them when they enter. I visited one congregation and there at the Doors – seemingly waiting on us was an Older Grandfather, with his young Grandaughter, she might have been 7 or 8 years old. Immediately I felt welcomed and I immediately admired what this grandfather was teaching his granddaughter. I wanted to stand beside him with one of my granddaughters and help him.
2) Welcome Visitors.
Within the congregation are first-time visitors who have come to share the Word of God with you. When you greet them, you show that you are grateful they chose to come to your church that Sunday. Visitors end up being church members if they are happy with the church and how it treats its members.
Welcoming Spirit is Contagious
Those doing the ushering, or even doing the preaching, know who the visitors are. This desire to welcome and encourage those who do not know the lord is contagious.
3) Break the Ice.
When people come to church on Sunday, they are coming with the issues that trouble them every day. By greeting them, and in style, you make them forget their troubles momentarily and prepare their hearts to receive God’s Word and comfort. They will feel lighter and able to worship God during the service.
They are also with a group of people they do not know, they may be shy or reserved. Unfamiliar surroundings. It Probably took a lot of courage and desire to venture into strange situations – help them feel at Ease.
5 Ways to Greet a Church Congregation
1) A Simple Speech / Welcome / Glad You are Here
One way to greet your church congregation is by using a simple speech. This is used by many churches, especially those that are conservative. It involves speaking welcoming words to the congregation and letting them know you are happy to see them.
You can give them a brief on the day’s sermon and what they will learn. This whets their appetite for God’s Word that Sunday. Write the speech on a piece of paper to make sure you don’t forget what you want to say. Make sure your greeting includes the visitors who will be in your midst so that they too will feel welcome to your church.
You can begin by welcoming them – Generally, it is better to let them be as anonymous as possible. I have seen congregations do this very effectively. inexpensively
- Gifts of a Music CD of some of the Congregations Worship
- Gift of a Bible
- Gifts of an Inspirational Book
- Lesson Outline for the Morning / Program / Bulletin
- The prayer request that they can get friends and family added to the family’s prayer list.
2) An Uplifting Welcoming Song
Some churches have become innovative and have composed a greeting song which the worship team sings every Sunday. Others reserve the song to welcome their first-time visitors. A song is a creative way to greet your congregation and is uplifting.
You can come up with a song that the entire congregation can sing as they welcome the people sitting next to them. Make the song as fun as possible so that it can lighten everyone’s mood in the church. Ask you, worship team, to come up with a fun song that every person in the congregation will love to sing along.
3) A Church Family / Joke or Funny Story
As churches look for how to enhance their greeting session, they stumble upon funny ideas that leave their congregations in stitches. One way you can have a fun greeting session is to include a joke or funny story.
If you have comedians in the church, they can help you with this type of greeting. Share a joke or funny story and give your audience enough time to laugh and enjoy it. Aim for those jokes or stories where the members of your congregations can see themselves in the story. You can also choose those that relate to the sermon of the day. This will give the congregation something to think about when they get home.
4) Greet Each Person at the Entrance
Another way to greet your church congregation is for the pastors and other church leaders to stand at the door and greet the hand of each person. Smile and say something simple like, “welcome to the service” or “hello and God bless you” to every person. There is something special about pastors taking the time to greet those they are going to minister to when they stand in the pulpit. This greeting session can go on until the service begins. You can still have another greeting after the worship session to welcome everybody to the service.
3 Minute Welcome
In our local Family, after the 1st Uplifting song. We break into a 3 Minute intermission, where everyone visits, greets, shakes hands with all visitors. This creates a warm welcoming time at the beginning of each service.
5) Welcome Video
For the tech-savvy churches, you can have a welcome video that showcases your church and welcomes your congregation. This video can show various groups of people engaging in the different activities that go on in your church. You can capture these moments when you have your regular activities and use them to create videos that will help others know your church better. You can play the video when the congregation arrives and follow it up with a greeting.
Generating Greeting Ideas / Brainstorming
There are many ideas you can use to greet your church congregation, choose the one that works for your church members. Each church is different and appeals to a different type of Christian, e.g. senior citizens or millennials. Find what works for your church and go with it. Get ideas from your welcoming team or other churches. Where you borrow ideas from others, you can tweak them to suit your needs.
I have done this and it is very productive. I scheduled a brainstorming meeting after services. This is what I did
- Provided Pizza / One Time KFC / One time for Missions I provided Fried Alligator Nuggets
- Whiteboard to write down Brainstorming ideas
- Personel invitation to help – generate ideas
- Not only will you get ideas- you will get volunteers to help you with developing a greeting program. People love to help with their own ideas
- After Meeting I got everyone a copy of the ideas generated
- I passed around a list to gather everyone’s email address – I then sent to them the days fruit.
When you take the time to greet your congregation, you are spreading the love of Christ to them. You are making them feel welcome and part of your church family. As believers, we make up God’s family and we are to show each other love, care, and compassion. We mirror the behavior of our Savior who loved us while we were still sinners.
Greetings do not have to be elaborate, only something simple but with a powerful message that leaves your congregation feeling loved. A greeting shows that you care about the well-being of your congregation and you can even direct them to where they can get prayer if they need it. Make it a point/passion to greet your congregation in your unique style and keep it real. Make the greeting session look as natural as possible.