You have a shy person who has volunteered to be a church greeter.
What are some ways you can help grow this person to give the best welcome to your church visitors?
Shy people can be introverts. Extroverts can be shy in a new situation where they simply hang back to watch and wait.
Some people have a surge of fear that keeps them from warmly interacting with people. Other people may simply wait for someone else to take the initiative.
For the shy church greeter, approaching a person or a group of people can be stressful. They might be worried about
- what to say,
- how to act, and
- how to make a good impression.
It may be difficult to approach people to start conversations. It may feel awkward when they don’t know what to say when they are chatting with someone.
Here are 3 tips for church greeter coordinators that may help.
1. Prepare them for greeting situations.
People respond better when you give them some advance preparation.
When we led mission teams, I reviewed the plan with the team members so they knew what to expect to happen, and what they were expected to do throughout the day.
Do some rehearsing with your new church greeter. Spend some extra time with them going over what is expected from them.
If you have recruited a family to serve, and the child feels too shy to greet, perhaps you can turn greeting into a small game.
Play act with the child ahead of time, practicing being different guests. You could let the child know that it is okay to not say hello, just don’t be rude.
If giving a greeting doesn’t work for the child, don’t force it. Instead talk with them later, praising the effort to serve as a greeter.
2. Be a good role model
Ask the shy person to serve alongside you. Let them watch what you do. Let them observe. Use the opportunity to coach and encourage the person.
When I serve my church as a church greeter, I see this happening on a regular basis at the entry doors where I serve.
First-time volunteers will shadow an experienced volunteer. That lead volunteer affirms, encourages, and sets the example.
3. Give them a small list of things they can say:
Give some comments for greeting and then equip them with some ice-breaker-type questions:
“So, how did you find our church?”
“How long have you been coming to our church?”
A few more strategic questions will further the conversation:
- What do you do in your day job?
- Which school do you attend?
- What’s your major?
- What do you sense God has in mind for you?
I serve on our church’s translation team and often interact with guests who need translation devices.
As I walk them from the entry door to our station to get a receiver, I will say “Welcome to our church. How long have you been coming to our church?”
I’d love to hear from others – what advice would you give to the new volunteer who wants to serve as a greeter but feels a little shy?
Share your thoughts below.