A church greeter honored us unexpectedly. We learned something that day that has stayed with me.
In those days, we used public transportation to get to church. There were plenty of people who used public transportation to visit church:
- their own feet.
Normally, we would take a public bus to church. The church was on the bus route and conveniently dropped us at the entrance to our congregation. We walked through the parking lot to make it to the entrance.
But this day was different. I received a fresh reminder of the value of church greeters at the front door.
Running late — used a taxi
One morning, we were running late and knew the public buses would not get us to church on time.
We took a taxi, about 3x more expensive than a bus – but much more efficient on a Sunday morning when it is not raining.
The taxi driver arrived at the church, pulled into the parking lot, and stopped the car under the covered awning near the entrance.
As we were paying the cab fare and expressing our thanks to the friendly driver, a trained church greeter opened the door for us and said
“Welcome to [name of church here.]”
This simple gesture made us feel like we were stepping into a 5-star hotel with valet service.
This kind and thoughtful gesture took the edge off of our stress at running late.
I don’t remember the sermon that day. But I do remember how I felt.
Parallels to your church
Some church campuses may have a covered driveway where people can get out of their cars if it is raining.
Perhaps your church has a van bringing seniors from a local resident home.
Maybe some drivers drop off family members before parking the car and coming back to the building.
Consider having a church greeter who opens the taxi door, or door for any car unloading its passengers at the entry door before the driver goes and parks the car.
That greeter can
- Open the passenger doors as a sign of honor to members and guests.
- Give a great smile and warm hello and perhaps a handshake.
- Mints or gum. Enough said.
- If it is raining, offer to provide a church umbrella so the driver can get back from parking the car without getting wet
A valet-type greeter can be a wonderful blessing there at the door.
Just a thought.
The Key Principle for Church Greeters
Your church guests will remember what they feel when they experience your church.
Simple gestures of politeness, honor, warm smiles, and friendly greetings go a long way to helping make that great first impression.
That day, we were stressed out. We were late for church and our volunteer roles. We knew we were rushing. Both of our kids (under 8 years old at the time) were stressed.
Though the taxi driver was a friendly and talkative person, we were not able to relax in the cab.
When the church greeter opened the car door and gave us a simple welcome, it caused us to feel something different.
Those actions de-stressed us. It was a simple act of love and honor to the guest (as this greeter was not known to us personally). But it made the difference in the morning.
You might think that this is silly. Can opening a car door when receiving passengers from a car change somebody’s world?
That’s not the point. The point is the change in feeling it evoked in us – that’s what we remember. That helped prepare the way for us to experience the presence of God in the service.
The question to ponder: what actions can your church greeters take to help prepare the way for your guests to experience the presence of God in your worship service?
Do you lead your greeter ministry?
I’ve written a book for leaders of church greeter ministry. Click on these links to read more (at Amazon).
You can get the 2 DVD Combo Set of Greeter Training DVDs from the store
Also, see this tutorial on fixing your greeter ministry.