The Connections Pastor could see that they were stuck. Hospitality ministry workers were apathetic.
The leader who oversaw the church greeters saw no point in any more training.
Even through the church had a visitor connection card, church greeters, Church Visitor Welcome Packets, excellent and polite church ushers and a welcome center, the Connections Pastor knew it wasn’t working.
She knew the hospitality systems were working, but it wasn’t a friendly experience.
People were not feeling welcome.
The Connections Pastor could hear the hospitality stories similar to these:
The Connections Pastor felt like she was pulling teeth to make systemic changes to help their church become a more welcoming congregation. In spite of resistance, she scheduled a virtual hospitality training session with me. She managed to get several people to assemble that day.
I was 2500 miles away, but video streamed in via the Internet.
The hospitality stories began
The best benefit was the conversation this hospitality training started. It opened the flood gates for people to share their own stories of welcome (or lack there of).
As people shared their stories, a sense of personal ownership began to form. These stories should not exist!
- We had testimonies of teenagers being ostracized and unable to penetrate “clicks” in our classes.
- One participant told us that her daughter never found our church friendly. One day coming out of church she announced: I am not returning to church anymore. And she never did, ever since.
- Another mother said she moved here to give a Christian education to her daughter, just to find that the daughter is not welcomed at our High School.
- Another one said that students from other countries as his son is, did not feel welcomed.
- Parents whose children do not attend our school said that the school is such a magnet for immigrants that the local kids do not have a place in church.
- Others mentioned that we have to make a plan to recognize visitors and befriend them in our Fellowship lunches.
The training event provided the context for people to express their own hurts and struggles to feel connection.
The hospitality stories moved them to change
As members heard these first hand stories, a sense of ownership for the hospitality ministry began to form.
Ideas began to take shape.
Church members were no longer comfortable with the state of their existing welcome ministry.
Here is some of the feedback:
- I think this presentation should be seen by every member of our church. It was certainly an eye opener.
- Too short! (several people). I believe we should have extended it another 45 minutes.
- We are also very thankful for your insights and ideas on how to embrace the vision of a caring church, and how to improve in every department at our church.
- Another greeter was amazed, she never participated in training before. As I walked to church for the Service after the session, she stopped me. She was elated. She said that as she came into church, she saw people sitting alone and she felt so enthusiastic that she greeted them all. “I am SO EXCITED. I will do my best to integrate people.”
- The greeter leader who was most resistant saw the value of the training afterwards. The greeters appreciated that training.
The Connections Pastor is excited that there is some new life in their Connections ministry.
Upgrade Your Hospitality
You can offer your hospitality team a class that I offer, “Upgrade Your Hospitality.” As long as you have a high speed internet connection, you can offer this class to your team. It is a live and interactive training (not recorded) and we can troubleshoot some of these areas.
In this 90 minute online teleclass, among other equip your team on:
- How welcoming guests helps your church fulfill or fail the great commission.
- 8 characteristics to know about your guests BEFORE they arrive so you can serve them well.
- No manuals necessary – how to have awesome hospitality ministry in unforeseen moments.
- 8 necessary traits of a church hospitality volunteer who blesses your guests.
Your class can be in English or Spanish.