In my church hospitality coaching practice, I often hear:
Greeting church visitors is every one’s responsibility.
However, I think we all know that such a welcome does not get done.
New Church Greeters are Nervous
New volunteers who are recruited as greeters may not be sure exactly
- what to say while at the door or
- how to give a greeting.
It can be a little awkward to say “I don’t know how to do this.”
For example, a personal friend of mine was asked to serve as a front door greeter at the 9am service the next day.
She had never served as a church greeter before.
Hear what she said to me:
- I did not want to say no. I
- I wanted to serve and do good.
- Instantly, I felt awkward and nervous.
- Would I mess up?
- Would I embarrass myself or my church, or the church visitor?
- I couldn’t rest well that night.
- I was nervous and wanted to do a good job.
- What could I say to the group of 200 people walking in through this door?
What do I say to the visitors or members?
Thus, in the privacy of their own home, these new church greeters search the Internet for
- “How to say a welcome to a church visitor”
- “Greetings to 1st time visitors at church”
- “A word of welcome for church visitors”
- “What to say to welcome visitors in a church”
- “How to say a welcome to visitors at church”
- “Tips on welcoming First timers in Church”
Special thoughts for Ministry Leaders
You could develop this list more fully into a resource you can use at your church.
If you are the person responsible for church greeters ministry, consider giving this list of statements your new greeters.
Once your welcome volunteers say something a few times, they will relax and put their own flavor to it. Help them find a starting point.
Also, give your new greeter permission to mess up.
Finally, encourage the church greeters to pray before serving, asking God for wisdom at the moment.
Greeting Church Visitors at Entrances:
Use a few different ones — the same phrase spoken every weekend by every person is insincere.
Sample one line greetings for parking lot or entry greeters or for your members to say in a hallway:
Welcome to [church name] this morning!
God bless you.
We’re glad you are here this morning.
Good morning and welcome to our church
I’ve not met you yet! Welcome.
I don’t believe I’ve met you yet. Have I?
Greeting Church Visitors from the Front
During the worship service, the leader can say something like the following to welcome visitors.
We are glad that you are here with us this morning.
If this is your first or second Sunday with us, we are grateful that you have come to be with us this morning. It is our hope that you experience the love of Christ this morning and His presence during our worship.
If your church does the passing of the peace handshake ritual, the worship leader can go on to say this to help the church greet visitors (See #5 in this list of 10 practices to welcome church visitors).
Get up, turn and greet someone that you’ve not met yet. Shake their hand, introduce yourself, and take a few moments to welcome them to God’s house.
Greeting Church Visitors After the Worship Service
During the fellowship reception time after the service, church members can be encouraged to look out for and intentionally greet people they haven’t met.
I have find it helpful to break the ice and initiate the conversation by saying:
“I’ve not met you yet. I’m Chris.”
With that, I offer my hand to shake and I continue with a conversation.
Answer this question in the comments below. I want to hear from you.
What is a phrase you suggest your greeters might say to greet people to welcome visitors or members?
Note to the reader: If I haven’t answered the question you were looking for, leave that in the comment field below too. Let me know so I can help get an answer for you.