It’s that time of year! Christmas Eve Services are typically the largest all year and churches see a spike in visitors. Members have family in town who join for an evening, and neighbors who have been driving past the building for months think, “that’s it, I’m finally going to do it. I’m going to church on Christmas this year!”
Whatever the reason, we as the church body are excited to welcome our new friends. Our heart is to see the church grow and expand.
As accountants, we are thrilled by the idea of counting each and every seat, parking spot and new visitor. We would love nothing more than to create charts and graphs outlining the patterns and correlations we find between the various numbers… But that certainly isn’t the reason for the season.
The real focus needs to be: How do we welcome our visitors well?
We’ve all been somewhere for the first time and felt out of place. The thought takes us back to freshman orientation as accounting majors… New place, new people, excitement with a hint of dread and uncertainty stirring within. Ok, maybe for you it wasn’t freshman orientation as an accountant, but we’ve all been there, haven’t we?
Here are 3 quick tips for welcoming guests into your church and make them feel right at home.
Clear the path!
From the moment your guests drive onto the parking lot, they should know where to go. Making the choice to visit was a huge first step, so let’s make the rest of their experience as simple and straightforward as possible. Whether it’s signs, volunteers, or some other creative choice, ensure your guests can get from the parking lot to their seat without any question as to whether they’re going the right way.
Greet them at the door.
Remember the phrase, “Smiles open doors”? Well, in this case, smiles should stand by the door. This is why we LOVE our greeting teams. Who doesn’t love a team full of people with the biggest, best smiles in town, ready to welcome any and every person who walks through their doors? A friendly face can ease the mind of a guest wondering if they made the right decision to try something new.
Think of this like a first date. You want to make a good impression, and you want to see them again. It can be easy to drop the ball on following up with guests in the rush of everything going on during the holidays. We get it. A huge part of Jesus’ ministry was making sure those around him felt seen, known and loved. Don’t we want to emulate that? A simple follow-up email, card or text message can go a long way for a guest, reminding them that their presence matters.
Quick tip on getting information: be sure to make it easy for visitors to give you their info, if they want. You could offer visitors a gift, have your leaders looking out to welcome visitors and get their info to personally follow up, and put a QR code somewhere for them to scan and request someone reach out.
We are so excited for you and cannot wait to see all of the creative and loving ways you welcome your guests in this season!