A Shout Out to the Lobby Team!
It seems unexpected, but there are many churches today that are just down-right unfriendly to visitors walking through their doors for the first time. While not outwardly hostile, their “regular” attendees often do not go out of their way to welcome newcomers. Worse, is making the mistake of shining too bright a light on first timers by making them stand during worship to introduce themselves. These are a couple of sure-fire ways to alienate someone who might have had to work up a lot of courage just to give church a try.
Here at HOPE, we place welcoming as a high-end value. We craft our message each week to not only speak into the lives of the already faithful, but to touch the hearts of those who are new in their spiritual journey. People who have never been to church or were, perhaps, hurt at one time by church, or those unfamiliar with the Bible and still wondering about Jesus. We never assume everyone already knows the Lord’s Prayer or understands about Communion or the importance of baptism. So we try to be intentional in our choice of worship music, dramas, videos and graphics so that all audiences may be blessed by them. We don’t even ask visitors to participate in the offering.
Our intentionality to welcoming first-time visitors starts at the door each week where members of HOPE’s WOW (Warm Our Welcome) team stand at the ready. These people have been blessed with the gift of hospitality and are hardcore friendly. Not only do they hold the doors open in all kinds of weather, they greet each person with a huge smile and can spot a “newbie” a mile away. You’ll see them making introductions; giving directions; ushering parents to the children’s wing. They’ll even lug the baby carrier! And that’s just in the first few minutes of entering our building.
Each Sunday, we have close to two dozen lobby volunteers working as ushers, greeters, leaders and coffee-makers. They also provide coverage for The Soul Café and the lobby’s “Info” table. All are trained and hardwired to make Sunday mornings a place where people— whether you’re new to HOPE or a regular attendee— feel welcomed, comfortable and right at home.
The Lobby Team currently has 75 members. If you are interested in finding out ways in which to get involved with the team, stop by our information table in the lobby or have a chat with one of our team members. We could really use your help. Or, you can email Pastor Rick Court.
A big HOPE thank you to our Lobby Team!Filed Under: HOPE Insights, Sunday Bulletin Articles