Your website works hard to get someone through your doors. Does the experience stop there? No. Ushers and greeters are some of the first people a new visitor encounters. What can you do to help those key pieces of the welcoming experience? This article explores how can you use your website to help them, as well as grow your hospitality team.
Sometimes the little things have a huge impact. You may think a new person feels welcome at your church because of your pastor's sermon, or maybe the worship band. Yet, a important ingredient in welcoming visitors to your church is your hospitality team. Your ushers and greeters are instrumental in making someone feel welcome at your service.
Information & Joining
First thing is that you need to address people who are currently not hospitality team members. Let new members know that this is the easiest way to feel connected to the church. Serving brings you closer to all that your church community offers. Second, you need to follow up and ask that they join your hospitality team. By having more members, you ease the burden on those currently serving. List and describe the jobs so they understand the capacities they can serve in. This will help introverts see that ushering may be a good fit. While extroverts may flourish as a greeter. Finally, have a call to action leads to an application form.
Your new hospitality team member joined, took your class, and is ready to go. However Saturday night they are just a little apprehensive about what it is they need to do. Can your website ease their concerns? Publish your guidelines online for easy reference. This is great for all team members as well as any potential visitors. A visitor may not care the routes your usher use for communion. But it demonstrates a level of efficiency and organization. Plus if you have concerns about safety, you may want to know about certain topics. Map out fire routes and evacuation procedures. Finally, parents are always concerned about the check-in and check-out procedures. Tie your youth ministries into your hospitality team by overlapping some of this content. Now let us dig further into the topic of safety.
What kind of safety issues do you need to look out for? Unfortunately there are many people opposed to the church. Often the bigger your church becomes, the bigger the target it becomes. Yet not all safety involve outside threats. How often do you have fire drills? What is the plan for when your Sunday school has a missing child? While it may not be a massive traffic point, post information about these emergencies. If you have positions that could use help, advertise them here. You may have a safety committee that audits your church for these situations. You may have safety members that patrol your church during service. Regardless of what you do, people in several professions make great fits for this. Men and women with military, police, and fire and rescue backgrounds make great candidates. If you have special events around patriotic holidays, make a special announcement asking for their service once again.
You may not be a large church that has to worry about multiple evacuation routes. Nor do you have large teams to orchestrate communion and offering. Yet you still have teams. Put their training material and best practices online. Share your knowledge so all concerned parties will see them. This will entice existing congregation members to join the team. Existing team members will find refresher training. And most importantly, prospective members see how important hospitality is to your church. They will see the positive attitude and organized method to making everyone feel welcome.
Note that the hospitality training I received at North Way Christian Community inspired this article. Thanks to Luke Travelpiece, George Kehoe, and Kristin Radacsy for their continued efforts. You are truly a blessing to the kingdom!
Photo courtesy of FotoCromo