If you are involved in recruiting and training of church greeters, you will likely run into a church greeter who says
But I don’t know who the first time visitors are!!!!
They may use that to avoid answering your call to recruit them for a given Sunday or for a given rotation on your schedule.
It is offered as an excuse that really is meant to say “I don’t know what I’m doing.“
It might even be offered as a rationale for not serving as a church greeter.
Of course, you are not able to read their mind, so you will want to be prepared to answer this objection when recruiting church greeters.
Or, your greeter could honestly have no practical idea on how to notice a first-time visitor in the crowd of people who walk through your door.
Three Visual Clues to a First-Time Visitor
Here are a few clues that you can suggest in your training that will help you lead your church greeters.
You can use these three quick points when your potential greeter recruits say that they won’t know who the first-time church visitors are.
They are 3 visual clues that will reveal the presence of a first-time visitor. Help your greeter learn to watch for these three things:
1. Looking for building signs
A first-time church visitor may not immediately know where various spaces are located in your building.
- Where is the church bathroom?
- Where do I take my children?
- Where is my Sunday School Class?
- Where is the Mayberry Room or the Parlor Room for the Suzie Mitchell Class?
Your visitors might be staring through the crowd of people, looking for eye-level signage on walls.
They might be looking over the top of everyone’s head for signs hanging from the ceiling.
If you have rooms and classes named after church members or families, please consider going visitor friendly and dropping those names.
Your visitor doesn’t know why Mayberry was important, nor why a long-ago Sunday School teacher still has a classroom named after her
2. Asking questions of volunteers
If your volunteers wear a uniform shirt, a name tag, or a lanyard with their name, a first-time church visitor may feel comfortable enough to ask whatever question is on their mind.
I’m not big on name tags for every single person in the church, but I do think a church that thinks of its first-time guests will at least have a name tag, lanyard, or some kind of church-branded identification on them.
This visible designation of “official person” for your worship gathering allows you to be approachable.
I visited an amusement park in the United States. I couldn’t find a water fountain. I found someone with a park ID badge on and asked. They pointed me in the right direction.
Make yourself approachable with some kind of name tag or badge, or maybe even consider a branded polo shirt.
Your first-time visitors will thank you, and you’ll have created another way to know who your first-time visitors are.
3. Walking in a Tentative Manner
People who walk with a sense of purpose likely already know where they going. However, people entering your place for the first time may not seem so confident. They don’t know where their destination is.
At the amusement park, I watched people enter for a few brief moments. People who had been to the park before knew exactly where they wanted to go.
Those who were visiting for the first time were obvious:
- Eyes scanning every direction that they could possibly see.
- Slow walking.
- Head slowly turning as their eyes took in information
- Looking at a map they picked up. . .
As I watch tourists in the city where I live, they walk slower than everyone else.
They look around at all the sights they are seeing for the very first time.
They often stop and point.
Normal residents around them are simply listening to whatever is in their earphones, walking forward with some speed and intentional composure.
If you observe the pace at which people walk, you might detect a first-time visitor.
Answer Your Church Greeter Objections
You might think of other visible evidence of the behavior of first-time church visitors.
If you can think of one right now, would you put it in the comment box below?