What does the Bible say about Hospitality Ministry?

The Bible has a lot to say about Christian Hospitality in general.  Two of the most popular posts on Evangelismcoach.org are lists of Biblical references to hospitality and welcome.

I’ve updated these lists to include Scripture Verses and a print feature for you to print out what might the Bible say about Hospitality Ministry.

If you like them, please share them.

Click on the images below to open up the lists in a new window.

Bible Verses on Hospitality

 

Scriptures on Welcome the Stranger

Luke108ChristianHospitality

Please share these lists.

Order a Hospitality Training from me

Your hospitality ministry can order a personal training from me.  It is a virtual seminar I offer that is travel-free.

You can offer it on any night or day that you choose.

I’ve even had a request on a Thursday for an event on Saturday morning.

Read more about how to get your own church hospitality team training seminar from me.

3 Barriers to Recruiting Church Greeters

Pick Me Eager Volunteer GreeterI would love for there to more volunteers for greeter ministry than spaces you could fill.  However, I’m not sure there are churches where people are fighting to be volunteer greeters.  If you find yourself struggling to recruit volunteers for your greeting ministry, here are 3 barriers you might face.

1.  Fear

Fear is one common barrier to getting volunteers for your greeting ministry.

Your potential volunteer may fear a life time of service in that same role.  They see other people who have been in the same volunteer position for 5 years.

Your candidate might fear that they may not like the role.

They may fear that they are not extroverted enough to make small talk with your church visitors.

Perhaps they fear that they don’t know what to say to visitors other than “Good morning.”

Check out these tweets:

  • Looking forward to Christmas Eve service at Church tomorrow. I even get to help out at one of the services (little nervous) as a greeter.
  • I’m going to be a greeter for the first time at church today. A little nervous, hope it goes smooth.
  • Greeting people at church gives me SO much anxiety.

2.  Lack of experience.

Some of your greeters have no problem smiling at people or making small talk with your visitors and guests.  They may have a more outgoing personality.  Some may have been in church for enough time to know and understand the role of church greeter without much of an experience issue.

However, if you are making new disciples through active evangelism, you may have several people who have not served in the ministry of greeting before.

This is true in our current church.  Our volunteer base lacks previous experience in this ministry.  So we face questions that may appear simple:

  • What do I wear?
  • What do I say?
  • What time do I show up?
  • How can I do my best?
  • How can I best represent my church in what I do?

3.  I don’t see the point.

Your volunteers want to know how their work will actually make a difference.

If they can’t see the value of greeting ministry, then their service might be deemed pointless.

Solutions to Greeter Recruitment Barriers:

Some greeters will be easy to recruit.  They get the vision of hospitality ministry, they might have the personality to engage visitors well, and they might have enough church experience to not be intimidated by this form of service.

But here are three ways you can increase your recruitment of greeter volunteers by addressing these barriers.

1.  Have a Regular Vision Meeting.

Gather your volunteers 2-3 times a year to recast the vision of an awesome welcome experience.  Use this meeting as an on-ramp for new greeter volunteers, usher volunteers or potential members of your hospitality committee for the upcoming year.

These gatherings can help minimize the potential nervousness or fear that your new volunteers might have.  You can review your requirements and expectations.

It can also be an occasion to celebrate what God has done in your church as the fruit of your hospitality experience.    Cast the vision for what volunteering as a greeter can do for them.   It can be a fun experience.

Check out these tweets from greeters who are blessed:

  • It’s hard not to smile walking in the door to my church.  Friendliest greeters ever!
  • I’m really excited to be volunteering at church tomorrow even if I’m just a greeter.
  • Days like these I so look forward to church in the morning.  Just to be around good, friendly people and lift my spirits!
  • Seriously, my church has the best greeter ever.

You could use some of these products either to show directly, or to inspire your own creativity:

2.  Give potential greeters a “Try it once” option.

You can always give the Try it Once option as a safe on-ramp.

The key to this is to follow-up with your volunteer to review their experience and address any concerns that may come out of that review.

3.  Remind Greeters of their importance.

Your greeters regularly need to hear how important their ministry is.  Find ways to tell stories of meaningful impact that their service created.

Perhaps you have a new comer to your church that has been attending several weeks.  After the fourth sermon, they have made a decision to follow Jesus.  Your church has made an eternal impact in the life of that person.   You listen to their story and discover that part of why they kept coming back was one of the following

  • This church felt safe.
  • The people welcomed me.
  • So and so kept saying hello.
  • This person prayed with me during the reception about my need.

Those are all testimonies to the power of awesome hospitality ministry.  Your greeters need to hear and celebrate these stories.

4.  Use email to communicate short reminders.

If you use email to remind people of upcoming events or their upcoming Sunday to serve, include a tip for improving their greeting.

For example, you could:

You could lift up a particular value of your greeter ministry such as

  • We greet everyone.
  • No visitor shall experience a rude greeter.
  • Every visitor and member shall be able to experience the love of God in our ministry today.

Read more

I’ve gathered the 10 most popular articles on greeter ministry in this simple tutorial.  Take a few moments to browse and click.

Then sign up for our weekly updates to get the latest articles on greeter ministry, hospitality ministry, and evangelism ministry each week.

14 Bible Verses on Welcoming the Stranger

Do you need Bible verses to consider for your hospitality committee devotions?

Perhaps you need a list of welcoming bible verses for your greeter ministry?

Scriptures on Welcome the Stranger

 

Click to tweet this list and invite others to read.

14 Scripture Verses for Hospitality Committees and Greeter Teams

The following list of bible verses comes from the New Revised Standard Version

  • Deuteronomy 10: 19 You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
  • Leviticus 19:34 The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
  • Matthew 5:43-44 You have heard that it was said, ‘you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy’. But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you.
  • Matthew 25:40 Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of my brethren you did it to me.
  • Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
  • Romans 13:10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor, therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
  • Acts 10:34 Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
  • Revelation 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them.”
  • 3 John 1:5 Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the friends, even though they are strangers to you; they have testified to your love before the church. You do well to send them on in a manner worthy of God; for they began their journey for the sake of Christ, accepting no support from non-believers. Therefore we ought to support such people, so that they may become co-workers with the truth.
  • Luke 10:27 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.
  • Hebrews 13: 1 Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.
  • Colossians 3:11 In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all.
  • Matthew 25: 35 I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.
  • Romans 12:13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

Related: 21 Hospitality Bible Verses

Free Download of these 14 Bible Verses

Download this file for free for quick reference and take it to church.

You can turn this list of bible verses on welcoming the stranger into a simple email to your greeter volunteers as a reminder of how they are called to extend an awesome welcome to your visitors and regular attenders.

You might even consider separating them out one at a time for your reminder emails.

No matter how you use them for your hospitality ministry, allow the Scriptures to shape the attitude of your greeter volunteers and others who participate in your welcome ministries.

Next Steps

Does your greeter team need training?  Try these resources from EvangelismCoach:

Take Your Church Up A Notch For Under $2,500!

FixHospitalityMinistIf you had a $2500 budget to spend on improving your church for a better welcome, where would you spend it?

This could be a great discussion starter for your hospitality committee to help reveal some dreams and vision development.  Use it as a brainstormer an capture the ideas.

If you had $2500 to spend, what would you do with it to improve your guest experience of your church?

In today’s guest article, my friend Richard Hong shares what they did at their church.  I’ve known Richard for a few years and appreciate several of his insights.

I even did a podcast interview with him some time ago, which he refers to in his article.


Short and sweet: too often churches think they don’t have the resources to professionalize aspects of their ministry.

Here are a few things you can do to improve your church for less than $2,500.

Total.

First, improve your Web site.

We were able to vastly improve our Web site in no time by using Clover (www.cloversites.com). (Editor note: Read what others are saying about Clover here).

Their preset designs are clean, image-driven, and appeal to younger eyes.

You edit your site from any browser – no special software needed.

They support Google Analytics, a free tool from Google that lets you get incredibly detailed reports (I can tell you that in the last 30 days my church’s site at www.englewoodpres.org received 490 unique visitors who saw an average of 4.53 pages and stayed for 3 minutes and 51 seconds).

Even better, your site automatically maps to a version designed for mobile browsers (20% of our hits are now coming from iOS or Android devices).  The startup cost?  Only $1,000, plus $240/year.

So far we’ve spent $1,240.

(Here’s a hint: ask a couple of your shutterbug members to start taking pictures.  Lots of pictures.  Of everything around and in your church – during worship, at social events, crowd shots, solo shots, artsy pictures of objects like chandeliers and stained glass – you’ll need a lot of interesting pictures to create an interesting site.)

Second, add a pager system to your nursery.

Parents, especially visitors, are attracted to a secure nursery.

A pager system gives parents the comfort of knowing they can be reached if needed.  We opted for the SmartCall system from HME Wireless (www.hmewireless.com) because it allows sending any one of eight preset text messages.

This way you can communicate with parents for a variety of reasons (“please come” or “diaper need”) – the message that sold me was “Baby OK”, so if a child is upset when the parents leave, you can inform them that their child has settled down.

The cost of a 12-pager system was just under $1,000.

To make the system work, order nursery labels from www.churchnursery.com.  These labels serve as an identifier and a “claim check” for the child.  A pack of sequentially numbered stickers/stubs is $30.  So that adds another $1,030 to what we spent before, bringing us to $2,270.

Third, add parking attendants on busy days.

Unless you have more parking than you ever need, you need to have a crew out there letting people know when the lot is full (so they can drop their passengers) and then directing them toward on-street parking.

This is especially important on Christmas Eve and Easter.

We use volunteer attendants of course, but they are equipped with safety vests (from Amazon.com, $7, Boston Industrial Safety Vest with Reflective Strips – Lime Green) and flashlights with signal cones (also from Amazon.com, $6, Dorcy 41-1482 2D Deluxe Krypton Flashlight with Safety Cone.

We have three sets for a total of $39.  Now we’ve spent $2,309.

Fourth, use press releases and invite local reporters to your events.

This one costs you nothing.

I participated in a podcast with Chris Walker of evangelismcoach.org a couple of years ago on press releases (link here) – and the beauty is that these are free.

But another simple piece of follow-up is to invite local reporters to your events.  Here is a link to a great article that was just published in a local paper about our Thanksgiving celebration.

Why did the reporter and photographer come?  We asked.

It cost nothing so we’re still at $2,309.

Fifth, set up tables and chairs at your coffee hour.

I’ve said it before and I can’t stress it enough.  Provide seating at your coffee hour; don’t make it a mostly-standing event.

When people sit, they talk.

When they talk, they connect.

When they connect, they return.

And use large tables, preferably the 60″ rounds that seat 8.

Why?

Because people are hesitant to join strangers at a small table, but a large table implicitly invites people to take any empty seat.

So how am I going to spend that last $191 to get us to $2,500?  On a supply of tablecloths.  They can be disposable vinyl tablecloths; buy a stash at a dollar store, replace them frequently.

But a bare table is uninviting.

There you have it.

$2,500 and you have a professional-looking Web site, a more secure nursery that is attractive to young families, provide a better welcome on busy days, free publicity through press coverage, and a better environment for your guests to connect.  There’s no reason not to do these things.  Now.

Source: Richard Hong’s website


Note: Links to Clover and Amazon are affiliate links that will benefit our ministry in Latin America.

Let me ask you this?

What would you spend your $2500 on to Improve your church’s welcome?  Answer below.

 

Need More Hospitality Ministry Volunteers?

question1Here is a common email I receive (composed from various ones):

I’m having a hard time finding volunteers who believe in the ministry of hospitality.  They think everyone should be doing this automatically.

Our church doesn’t have enough people who are interested in being greeters. We can’t get any volunteers. .

We’ve not ever organized our hospitality ministry before, but wa
nt to so do now so that our church will grow.

How do I find volunteers for the hospitality ministry?

Any ideas? We are praying for God to touch people’s heart with the desire to serve.

If you are the leader of your church’s hospitality committee, this is a question on your mind.

You have come to the realization that your church needs to do a better job of greeting and welcoming first time visitors.

But you have a hard time getting volunteers and you run into these three attitudes:

Attitude #1: Greeting: It’s everyone’s job.

People neglect the intentionalness of the hospitality ministry because it’s everyone’s responsibility.

You encounter resistance because they believe it’s the role of everyone.

I’ve seen it in smaller churches that have never had a welcome ministry.

I’ve seen it in mid-size churches that used to have a welcome ministry, but it got neglected over time.

Attitude #2: It’s not my gift. . .

I’ve seen people hide behind this one too.

I’ve met people who seem to have few social skills and would rather do something else than say hello to strangers.

But, I’ve also met people who find visitors to be a nuisance:

  • Those visitors sit in my pew and make me sit somewhere else.
  • They dress funny.
  • They might not be here legally.
  • That family might be a bad influence on my kids.

So they give a cold shoulder instead of a warm welcome, and hide behind “It’s not my gift.”

Attitude #3:  I don’t need training

You may already have people doing some kind of welcome ministry.

But you know it’s a mediocre experience for the visitor.

You may have volunteers who have settled into their routine of handing out bulletins, but have no grace, charm, or love for the visitor – it’s their church job vs. a ministry.

They are resistant to improving the hospitality ministry because they believe “I know how to welcome people, I’ve been doing it here for 10 years.”

Work at Changing their Minds

Part of your work as the hospitality ministry leader will be to change these attitudes.

Don’t let these attitudes deter you from improving your welcome process.

As you personally recruit your volunteers, you’ll have the chance to express how important this ministry is to the growth of your church.

1.  Regularly Cast the Vision for Hospitality Ministry.

There are many ways to cast that vision, but this is a process of time.

Find and share stories of the impact of hospitality ministry.

Celebrate it from the front, and celebrate them at moments like baptisms and membership Sundays.

2. Have a Vision refresher Meeting.

Gather your volunteers for a vision refresher meeting.  Take some time to both recast the vision, and provide some training for your volunteers.

These meetings can also serve as an entry point for recruiting new volunteers to your hospitality ministry that you have been identifying.

3.  Personally recruit 

If you want to recruit volunteers for this ministry of hospitality, make the effort to

  • pray
  • identify
  • share the vision
  • Ask for the volunteer to serve.

Personal recruitment, particularly in smaller church is the most effective way to start getting new volunteers.

They need to see and hear your passion for this welcoming ministry.

Let me ask you this

What are some of the ways that you have gone about finding volunteers?

What are some of the ways you have overcome some of these attitudes?

Download Tools under $15 to help you

Each one of these tools can help you with training.  Click on their links to learn more.