When the Christmas season approaches, your church calendar gets full. Volunteers step up for all the special activities.
For some churches, Christmas is a big production with special events like a dramatic production, multiple services for Christmas Eve, a packed advent calendar, and seasonal decorations.
The church we attend puts out all its Christmas decorations in the lobby during the second weekend in November. It takes dozens of church volunteers to give their time to hang lights, put up trees, set up photo selfie stations, and more.
For other churches, it might be a simple Christmas Eve candlelight service. We’ve attended a few of these in our travels.
For many churches, Christmas services will see their attendance levels double or triple. Your Christmas services are one of the prime moments to make a great first impression and set up a reason for some of your guests to return for the new year.
Weeks before is a great time to remind your hospitality teams of the importance of a great first impression. As part of your planning, find ways to refresh the vision of great church hospitality and first impressions.
Tom Bandy writes us a reminder that our churches need to have their hospitality teams in gear for this Christmas season.
Is your hospitality team prepared for visitors?
We need to remember that the success of the Christmas season will largely be measured by how many ‘significant conversations’ we create between seekers and mentors. . . . .a ‘significant conversation’ is any dialogue that goes beyond gossip, relatives, weather, sports, and politics . . . to talk about meaning, intimacy, life purpose, personal growth, or faith.
Tom gives lots of suggestions for welcoming church visitors at Christmas time, and how to have some of these conversations.
We all want to avoid first time visitor nightmares, but Mr. Bandy gives us more hints to create those significant conversation (full article lost).
He gives small talk suggestions for greeters :
Take them deeper during the refreshment time. Train the servers to articulate the core message. Deploy the elders to work the crowd. Let the musicians follow-up the conversation in the sanctuary with even deeper conversation in the fellowship hall. Seek out the seeker. . . . Go to the stranger.
- “Wasn’t that a great anthem? I especially loved this verse …”
- “Did you see that cute kid? I love our Sunday school because …”
- “I saw 10 people crying during the intercessory prayer. Do you know why?”
- “What I like most about Jesus is …”
- “My senior’s group is getting together later tonight … would you like to join us?”
Here are 5 things our church does to welcome the visitors
1. Meet and Greet. We have many people who intentionally look for first time church visitors and make an effort to get to know them.
2. Explain terms. If we use words that are theologically rich, but culturally absent, we take the time to explain. Likewise, we assume that we have visitors that do not know the Bible stories.
3. Adequate signs. Take a sign audit.
5. Reception. We have a reception after the service to create that context for relationships to occur.
If you need more help on these items consider this ebook: How to Welcome Church Visitors
Let me ask you this?
What does your church do to prepare your welcome teams to welcome visitors?
Please share with us in the comments below!