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Author Topic: Different ways to welcome new comers to your church?  (Read 2339 times)
Terri
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« on: January 24, 2006, 10:11:52 AM »

Hi All,

How does your church welcome visitors in your church? My church is wanting new ideas to make visitors feel welcome and comfortable.  Have any of you visited a different church and they did something to make you feel really comfortable? Please share your experience.
God Bless, Terri
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Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2006, 10:23:15 AM »

Hi again, Terri. Have you ever gone into a church and find no one at the door to greet you or if there was someone there they were stiff and sour faced? It is important to have someone at the door to say Hi with a smile. It makes the atmosphere so much warmer. Be sure that the person there offers to answer any questions they may have.

Many churches leave the welcoming just to men. If you have a woman coming into the church for the first time it is very important that a woman greets them and offers to help them especially if they have children with them.

I like the idea of offering them a visitors card also. Take some time to help them fill it out. It is a great tool to get to know the person and do follow ups with them also. Be sure to follow up afterwards letting them know that you enjoyed having them come. Make sure they know about any special events the church may be having and that you would enjoy having them come to those also.

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airIam2worship
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2006, 10:23:47 AM »

Hi Terri, at my church after our praise and worship, everyone is asked to sit except first time visitors, at this time they are given a welcome packet with information about our church, and cards where they can offer information about themselves and whether they have a prayer request. This is totally optional. In the same welcome packett is a cassette tape of a recent message as a gift, they are welcomed with a hearty round of applasuse, and then we sing them a 'love song' as we gather around the visitor/s, they are then invited to have refreshments after the service, these refreshments may be fresh fruit, danishes, or cookies, and juice. After the service they are again welcomed individually by our Pastor, ministerial staff and members of the church.
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Terri
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2006, 04:58:59 PM »

Hi Pastor Roger and airIam2worship,

Thank you for your ideas!!! Our church does have greeter every Sunday by the main enterance. But that is really all we do. I  like how airIam2worships church has the visitors remain standing and hands them a welcome bag of goodies. That is a neat ideas. I bet the visitors feel very welcome too!  Our church needs to do a better job in this area. I think they are trying but just don't know what else to do.

Any other ideas to help make visitors feel more welcome?
Thanks, Terri
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2006, 05:24:05 PM »

Hello sister Terri, at my Church half way, through service before the sermon. Everyone is asked to stand, and greet one another, usally a bee-line straight to the newcomers. At this point, we greet everyone including new comers. After Church is coffee/tea dounut fellowship which the new comers are asked if they would like to attend. Durning this time our pastor invites them, one on one if they would like to fill out a guest card.

In our Church, it doesn't matter, if you wear jeans, t-shirt and tennis shoes. The most important thing is, they are there.

Resting in the hands, of the Lord.
Bob
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2006, 06:57:16 PM »

First of all, it's always nice to meet another "Terri"  Cheesy  and welcome to ChristiansUnite.  This website is, in my humble opinion the very best christian website in existence.  The christians here want to fellowship with you, they will love and support you and pray for you.  I find it to be a large part of my life.

Now, it just so happens that I am one of the greeters at my church.  There's a revolving door of regular greeters, usually two - a man and a woman that greet everyone as they come in.  Most Sundays we only pass out that day's bulletin to our church family, in addition,  new comers get the bulletin and a gift packet that contains information about the church, a silk book mark, a pen, a visitor's card and a cassette tape of a recent sermon.  Depending on whether or not there's a holiday we'll pass out flowers on Mothers Day, gum cigars on Fathers Day, candy at Easter, etc etc.  First time visitors are invited to have breakfast with the pastor and worship team where they can ask any questions they may have.

I love my church family - they are warm and loving and I know anyone that walks through the door is comfortable.


PRAISING HIS NAME! HALLELUJAH! GLORY! GLORY! GLORY! PRAISING HIS NAME!
Blessings-
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Terri
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« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2006, 04:02:31 PM »

Hi DeamWeaver, and TalkerCat,

Thank you for the warm welcome and great ideas for church. I have a meeting Feb 6 with other people in the church about this topic. And I am going to bring up all the great ideas given here.  Giving the visitors a bag filled with stuff about the church and some of our programs sounds really neat.  The sad thing is our church really doesn't do much to actknowledge the new people. They greet them, and during the service we welcome the people around us, but that is really all my church does. We don't even have the visitors stand so others can see who is new. So it makes it hard to greet the new people.

TalkerCat, so your a Terri too? My real name is Teresa, Terri is my nickname. It's a good name!
God Bless, Terri
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2006, 03:15:36 PM »

Hi Terri! Welcome back!  Cheesy
I had saved this article awhile back and just came across it again. I'm hoping that it might have something in there for you - even it's just to let you know that you're on the right track!  Wink

Finding the Lost Sheep
After lunch, Lowman spoke about an important topic: Bringing missing members back into the fold. I have given this much thought since hearing his message.

Jesus gave us three examples about the importance of finding lost members of our church. There was the story of the lost sheep where the shepherd searched until it was found. There was the father and the prodigal son; and how the father rejoiced when he came home. And then the was the homemaker who searched until she found her lost coin. We should follow Jesus' example and find those from our church who have been "lost" and bring them home with rejoicing!

How many times have you gone to church and noticed that someone was missing, but you didn't know why? Then the following week they were there, yet you forgot to tell them how they were missed... And then they missed again... and again, until one day, you didn't even notice they were gone?

Every church has members who, for one reason or another, left the congregation. Many of these people have never sought out the fellowship of another church. So, what are they doing each week instead of attending? Who knows, but perhaps you should make it your job to find out!

There could be dozens of men, women, and children who would love to know that you care. That you wish they were coming each week. That you miss their fellowship.

If you aren't sure who these people are, ask for the church membership list and make a note of each person who is not there over a period of a month. Then seek out the rest of the list. Now, of course this is easier in a smaller congregation, but the task could be divided up among several members in a larger church.

Don't forget how important an encouraging word, a hug, and a smile are to current members. You CAN prevent members from being lost in the first place!

If your church does not have in place a way to encourage, bond, and keep up with the members of your church, ask about instituting a new system at the next board meeting.

Here are some of my ideas for making a go of this:

Hospitality Ministry: Encourage families to "practice" the Biblical admonition of hospitality. (1 Peter 4: 9). If needed hold a class about the ministry of hospitality and how it can be used effectively. Read the book Creative Hospitality by Nancy van Pelt.
New members desperately want to make friendships and "fit in" with the other members of the church. If a new member does not make solid connections with other members within the first 9 months, they will likely drop out. Ways to use hospitality:

Invite new and current members to supper.
Church Activities: Ice Cream Social, Spaghetti Night, Proverbs 31 Clubs, Bible Study Groups, Sabbath School Socials, etc.
Create a Welcome Kit for New members and have the Welcome Committee visit the new member at home and give it as a gift.
Pastoral Visits
Just visit them at home and leave a homemade loaf of bread or platter of cookies.
Assign each new and old or potential member to a Deacon and his wife. Then the Deacon is responsible for contacting the member on a regular basis, inviting them for supper, or just dropping by to say hello.
Assign tasks to members who wouldn't necessarily offer to do something. For instance, many people would never offer to lead a discussion, provide dessert for the Sabbath School Party, or decorate the bulletin board, but if asked they would feel joy in performing the task because they are contributing something worth while to the church.
Make a point of saying hello to someone at church you do not know very well. Ask questions about her:
Where are you from?
What do you do?
How old are your children? What are their names?
How was your week?
Then offer information about yourself. Really listen to what she says and then ask more questions! Remember to do it again next week!

Spend Sabbath afternoon writing a note to someone you noticed was missing that morning at church. Let them know you care! Everyone enjoys getting handwritten letter in the mail. These days writing notes has become a lost art and the receiver will be even more delighted in the simple act - knowing that you cared enough to sit down, took the time to write them a note of encouragement and love. A handwritten letter symbolizes so much more than just what the words say. It represents a part of you, that part that cares, that part that believes this missing person, a child of the King, was important enough for you to stop what you were doing and let them know you noticed they were gone.
Also, remember this important point: Just because someone does not say hello to you does not mean he or she does not need someone to say hello to them. There are many, many people who are too shy to speak up, who are hurting and want someone to notice, or are so lonely that they don't know where to begin or even how to make a friend.
Just because you have your own circle of friends, does not mean everyone has their own circle of friends. I can't count the times in the past where I visited a church and knew no one, and yet NO one came up to me to greet me, see if I had any questions, or if I was interested in coming back again the following week. Open your circle every chance you get and invite new people in. You will be the one who is blessed!
 
http://www.avirtuouswoman.org/
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Terri
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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2006, 05:28:31 PM »

Hi Sincereheart,

Nice to hear from you! I am going to print off that article and share it at the meeting!!!! I wish more people in my church would make an effort to meet different people. Some of them just stick with the people they know, and don't make the effort to meet new comers. I don't think they are meaning to be rude, I think some people are just shy and don't know what to say. I've been in the church 3 years now. And there are still some members I don't know. I think that is sad.

Thanks for the article!
Terri
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sincereheart
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« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2006, 07:58:20 AM »

Hi Sincereheart,

Nice to hear from you! I am going to print off that article and share it at the meeting!!!! I wish more people in my church would make an effort to meet different people. Some of them just stick with the people they know, and don't make the effort to meet new comers. I don't think they are meaning to be rude, I think some people are just shy and don't know what to say. I've been in the church 3 years now. And there are still some members I don't know. I think that is sad.

Thanks for the article!
Terri

You're very welcome! Good to *see* you back!  Cheesy
I don't think most folks are meaning to be rude, either.... I think they just aren't thinking...  Undecided
But I am glad that you see the need and are proactively trying to remedy it! People will be blessed by you for it!  Kiss
Now if you could just take a little tour across the country and take that message with you to a list of churches I have..... Wink
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Terri
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« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2006, 10:01:21 AM »

Thank you! I hope I can make a difference. Only with God's help will change occur.
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« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2006, 07:10:40 AM »

Amen!  Cheesy
And if you could, keep us posted on how it goes! I'm sure it would be a good boost for everyone, I know it would be for me!
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« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2006, 07:21:55 AM »


            Dear Terri:

     I found it easier before & after to break hte ice,by introducing yourself and asking
 them who they are,how they are doing,where they are from,what have they been
 up to,etc.just being friends.Your church can have Potlucks too,to get people together,
 and/or after singing praise the Pastor can have everyone turn around and shake a
 stranger's hand.Those are a few ideas.I hope that just ONE of those can help you
 and/or your Pastor out.

                                 Yours in Yeshua,
                                 curious

                     
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« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2006, 01:05:17 PM »

Sister Terri,

Please keep us posted on how it goes at your church.  It's uplifting to hear of people being welcomed to the Lord's house!


THIS IS THE LORD'S HOUSE, EVERY BODY IS WELCOME!
Blessings-
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« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2006, 08:15:56 AM »

We had several visitors this Sunday, I wish you all could have seen the smiles on their faces when we gathered around them and sang them the 'love song'. I'm sure God was very pleased, it makes us so happy to see them smile, and feeling special. A few of them even answered the altar call. Hallelujah!!
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