Posted by: Joe Palmer | July 3, 2010

How Do We Treat Visitors?


Spiritual, faithful, hard working, dedicated to the church, and not very visitor friendly.  Okay let’s say it like it is, Granny is rude.

When I was young I brought one friend to church ones and he bumped the tray and spilled some of the communion juice as it was being passed.  Another friend dropped his change into the communion cracker tray making a clanging sound.  Granny would have straightened them out.

Visitors come to church with a whole lot of fears and questions.  They are fearful of making a mistake. They don’t want to  embarrassing themselves, or offend others.  Just like Granny we mean well but how does our interaction come across.  Here are ten suggestions on how to hellp a visitor feel welcome.

1.  Do Greet them.  Don’t stand there with your friends, point, and ask, “Who are those people?”  Go up and say hello.  Give them your name.

2. Don’t stick a visitor sticker on them. Surveys show that visitors don’t like visitor badges. They don’t want to stick out.

3.  Do offer to show them to class, and help their kids find class if they have any.

4. Don’t simply tell them where the classes are, take them.  While you are going tell them the order of services.  How long till Bible Class starts.  How long is the break between services.  About special programs for their kids, or for their age group.

5. Do introduce them to people, especially to people that they would have something in common with.

6. Don’t over do it.  Be sensitive to their being comfortable?  If they say they don’t want to do something don’t insist.

7. Do ask them if they have any questions.  Often people will share about their biggest fear, or greatest need if we simply ask, “Do you have ny questions, or needs that I can help you with?”

8. Don’t try to convert them in the foyer.  Let them become comfortable.

9. Do ask them what brought them to our church today?  Did a friend invite them?  Did they see a sign? Was it advertising? Was it a personal need?   A local visitor comes to church for a reason.  Again by asking them we may find out how to meet their needs.

10. Don’t let them walk out without getting their contact information.  Ask them to lunch, if they can’t go today, see if they would like to go next week.  Offer to put them on the bulletin mailing list.  This is a non threatening way to get their contact information.

Joe Palmer

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Responses

  1. […] 1. At Lebanon Road, we LOVE having visitors. Thankfully, we have some at virtually every service. But we always need to make sure we are treating them the right way. Joe Palmer provides some helpful suggestions (and a hilarious video) in his post “How Do We Treat Visitors?” […]


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