Most likely you used words like “welcoming,” “friendly” or “connected.” Do your people feel that? What about a first time guest? Hopefully so, but for most churches, new guests do NOT feel welcomed. Here are three ways that you can quickly train your volunteers and leaders to create a more friendly and welcoming experience.
A smile can make a world of a difference. A smile is contagious and lifts not only your own mood but also others. Do your volunteers smile when greet and welcome guests? Another way to build connection is to look into a person’s eyes. You give your full attention to someone when you look into their eyes. You communicate that they are important and that you are fully present with them.
A welcoming word or phrase can also build connections. A simple phrase like “welcome, glad you made it, good to see you, how are you doing” can start to break down walls. When you say these words from the heart, they make people feel like a human being. This usually can lead to deeper conversations. Telling a joke is also a great way to connect. Victor Borge says that “laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” How often are your volunteers verbally connecting with guests?
God created us to physically connect with others. That’s why our moms love to give us kisses and hugs. People are hungry for a physical embrace. On Sundays, it’s my goal to personally shake hands with everyone that walks on the campus. If they are open to it then I’ll give them a hug. For some people, this may be the only time they receive physical contact during the week. A touch can break down walls so that they can connect with the campus and the message.
What is one thing that you or your volunteers need to start doing this weekend?0