A first time church visitor has made the steps to finally visit your church.
Then comes that potentially awkward moment that some call “the passing of the peace,” that handshake ritual that may have some traditional symbolism that only Christians know.
To the church visitor, it can be a weird moment, a time of shaking hands with as many people as possible. What does a handshake have to do with peace?
While passing the peace may have been a symbol of “being a peacemaker,” it often becomes a fear-maker in visitors who might already feel out of place.
It is often a ritualized greeting:
- We leave the comfort of our seat,
- turn to our seatmates, pewmates or someone near us,
- grasp their hands, and
- speak the words, “The peace of the Lord be with you” and
- receive the words in turn, “And also with you.”
Sometimes, these phrases simply roll of our tongues in a meaningless gesture.
My most awkward experience
Listen in as I’m interviewed about the in-service greeting, sometimes called the passing of the peace. In this video, I share what was the most awkward moment I experienced, as well as the most meaningful.
- What is it?
- What is the weirdest one you’ve ever experienced?
- What is the best greeting moment I’ve experienced?
- What should we not do?
- What should we do?
- What are some things to say?
- How can we use this moment to help visitors?
What could you suggest as a great tip for those who practice this moment in the service?
How can it become a great hospitality moment?
Share your comments below. Don’t be afraid to be the first.
Image Source: Peas found as various wallpapers online and thought to be under creative commons.