Every Sunday, we have visitors at Asbury. Some feel welcomed, and so appreciate that! Others have told me that no one seemed to notice them….even when they walked into the fellowship hall after worship. We want all to feel welcomed, and here are some tips (from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership) on how we might practicing welcoming everyone:
1. Say, ―I don’t think we’ve met before…. if you are not sure if the person next to you is a member or a visitor.
2. If you are an outgoing church member, sit in the pews where visitors most commonly sit, often near the entrance or in the back and introduce yourself.
3. Enact the ―circle of ten rule — that each member will greet anyone, member or guest, who comes within ten feet of them.
4. Make a special effort to remember visitors’ names and call them by name.
5. Did you know that 40% of visitors make up their mind about a church before they even see the pastor? Within two minutes of the beginning of a service visitors have formed an opinion about whether the congregation is friendly.
6. Don’t overlook visitors who come to the church for the first time for an event other than worship.