A recent question brought by a reader is
What is hospitality in the church?
Answering this question can take the discussion in 100 different directions.
I want to share with you how I teach on hospitality at church.
Specifically, I focus on hospitality centered around the worship service experience.
What is church hospitality?
I teach that church hospitality has a two fold meaning
- Taking the initiative to welcome the visitor
- Inviting the visitor to participate in the mission of the church
Taking the initiative
On the one hand, church hospitality is organized friendliness on a Sunday morning.
On the other hand, hospitality ministry should be part of the DNA of your congregation, not just the volunteers who participate in welcoming church visitors.
Being intentional in creating a good welcome is part of the organized friendliness
- Remove the barriers that cause unnecessary awkwardness
- Create lasting impressions that helps church visitors decide to come back
- Make clear pathways for repeat visitors to start building new relationships and friendships.
All of this involves your greeters, welcome center volunteers, and other hospitality ministry servants.
Taking the initiative involves vision casting for hospitality ministries throughout the congregation – so that all members value and show honor to invited guests at the church.
Inviting the Church Visitor
The second part of my working definition of church hospitality involves the intentional inviting of that guest to return and participate in the mission of the church.
That’s not to say “recruit them for empty volunteer positions in the nursery” after the first Sunday.
Rather, I speak of an intentional thinking about helping your church visitor who comes back repeatedly to start making new friends in the congregation.
This is all the role of visitorÂ assimilationÂ or visitor follow-up.
- What is the low commitment next step that your repeat church visitor can take to start building those relationships
- How do your visitors learn about the opportunity?
If you are
- relaunching your hospitality committee,
- restarting your church welcome ministries
- trying to figure out where to start with church hospitality
you should consider the ebook, How To Welcome Church Visitors. Â Read about the book here.
I do offer various telephone coaching services for your church hospitality team. Â Â I spend time on the phone with your committee, up to 90 minutes, where I help you trouble shoot and develop some action plans.