My family has visited many churches over the years. Each time was uncomfortable for me being an introvert. Normally, my husband or son holds the door for me to enter first, but entering a new place my husband goes in first. He does this out of respect for my quirkiness, and I love that about him. Doing so allows him to get the first view of the inside so then he can guide our family to where we need to go. It also allows those inside to see him first and when he is invited to preach, I want him to introduce himself and our family, not me.
Ways To Help Welcome Church Visitors
We’ve all heard the statements, “that is the most friendly church” or “that is the most Unfriendly church”. Both are true because I’ve been in them. While the friendly churches outweigh the unfriendly ones, unfriendliness can really do a number on a visitor. I’ll never forget one church in particular, I couldn’t wait to leave and never look back. But then, there are churches I would love the chance to visit again.
5 Ways to Help Welcome Church Visitors
1.Put yourself in their shoes.
Anticipation builds when parking and walking into a new church; especially when you don't know anyone there. If the church is large, finding the auditorium and classrooms can be overwhelming. If your church doesn’t have a welcome team, be one yourself. A smiling face can be a huge blessing!
2. Make pleasant conversation.
Don’t be nosy, but ask questions to get to know the visitor and their family. Introduce yourself and ask their name. Are they local, where they work, the ages of their children, if they have a church home elsewhere are all good questions to ask. Be pleasant and listen to them.
3. Sit near the visitor.
You don’t have to sit with the visitor, but sitting nearby after you’ve talked with them opens the door to help them when questions arise. Depending on the size of your church and where the visitors are sitting, you don’t want them to feel as if they are on a deserted island all alone.
4. Don’t be offended when your seat is taken.
This is a HUGE problem in churches. People get accustom to sitting on one pew and it becomes their second home. GET OVER IT! Sitting in a different location will NOT kill you. Whatever you do, DO NOT tell the person sitting there, they are in your seat and to move. I was mortified one Sunday morning at our church when I saw this happen with a visitor. They were so embarrassed, they quietly sat in the far corner of the auditorium alone. I can’t help wondering if Satan used this older lady to cause someone to not be closer to the front to hear the Gospel without any distraction.
5. Make visitors feel welcomed.
As an individual, there isn’t much you can’t do to welcome people. Look for and pray for something you can do to welcome visitors. At one church, I was given a bookmark from an elderly lady. When the evening service was over, the pastor’s wife told me this precious lady had a ministry of giving bookmarks to visitors. Each week, she prayed the Lord would send a visitor for her to give a bookmark. In her prayers, she prayed for our safety, our provisions, and for the Lord to use us as He saw fit. That little bookmark means more to me than anything that was done for our family over the years.
It is important to welcome visitors into our churches. There are many who are hurting and looking for what Jesus offers. We don’t want our unfriendly actions to keep them from hearing the Gospel. Nor do we want to be a stumbling block for those who are trying to get back on the right path.