Welcoming Guests: What To Do

Simple ways to welcome guests and make them feel more comfortable, show them you care without making them uncomfortable. The goal is that when they leave, they feel happy they came.

The church makes an impression in a series of small ways throughout the visit.

  • Arrive
  • Narthex/Lobby
  • Worship
  • After

Keep in mind: “They may not remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel.”

Intentional habits that create a great feeling:

  • Pray for visitors.(Pastors and worship leaders pray before worship and privately for visitors; lay people meet in a conference room and pray about the upcoming worship service, including visitors who will be there and recognizing there was something that caused them to attend.)
  • Acknowledge visitors.Avoid making them feel awkward, but a general announcement and individual conversations that say you know they’re there and you’ve been praying for them. Replace “Are you new here?” with “I’m not sure we’ve met before” or “How long have you been worshipping here?”
  • Empower visitors.Make resources available to take a next step (info card, welcome center, church tour). Connections card gives you a way to follow up and invite them for lunch and a tour.

Think through: “What would it feel like to be a first-time visitor at this congregation?” Visiting another church may help give you perspective.

Thought Starters: 

  • Is it time to raise congregational awareness of visitors and how we treat them? 
  • What connection follow-up makes the best sense for our congregation?