You have a shy person who has volunteered to be a church greeter. . . what are some ways to help this person give the best welcome to your church visitors?
Shy people can be introverts, or extroverts in a new situation where they simply hang back to watch and wait.
Some have a surge of fear that keeps them from warmly interacting with people where as others may simple wait for the other person to take the initiative.
For the shy person, going up to 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, or feel awkward then they don’t know what to say when they’re chatting to someone.
Here are 3 tips for church greeter coordinators that may help.
1. Prepare them for greeting situations.
People respond better when there is 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.
So do some rehearsing with your new 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 greeting doesn’t work for them, 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 along side of you. Let them watch what you do. Let them observe. Use the opportunity to coach and encourage the person.
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?”
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?
Read more conversational small talk for church greeters.
I’d love to hear from others – what advice would you give to new volunteer who wants to serve as a greeter but feels a little shy?
Share your thoughts below.
My pastor encourages us to use the question, “Where are you from?” as our ice breaker, since it doesn’t define the guest the way asking what s/he does for a living may, and because of the high unemployment rate in our area.
That is a great opening question that expresses a wonderful sensitivity. For me, one of the key goals in evaluating our hospitality is to remove any practice that could unnecessarily make our church visitor uncomfortable.
The message of the gospel might be offensive, but our small talk doesn’t have to be.