by Mandy Neill
Did you know we’ve had a steady trickle of new visitors coming to check out Our Redeemers lately? Visitors often come looking for spiritual encouragement, but also a welcoming community in which to belong. So, this year we’re going to be particularly focused on fostering a more welcoming atmosphere at Our Redeemer’s by making people feel especially welcomed on their first few visits – so that they become semi-regular attenders.
One of our biggest strengths as a congregation is to make people from very diverse religious, social and economic backgrounds feel like they belong to the Our Redeemers Community once they’ve started attending semi-regularly.
Research says that for visitors to feel welcome, it’s optimal that they’re greeted by 3 people in the course of their visit. Obviously, a first point of welcome is usually our greeters/ushers, but that leaves 2 more points of contact once they enter the sanctuary. This is where you come in!
1. Can I challenge you to make a special effort to seek out new faces before or after the service, or during the “passing of the peace”, and introduce yourself? If trying to drum up conversation with a perfect stranger pushes you way out of your comfort zone, here are some easy in-roads to conversation: “I don’t think I’ve met you before, I’m ____. Have you been attending here long?”; “Do you live close by?”; or “What made you decide to check out this church?”
2. Then, make a special effort to introduce them to someone else in the congregation. This might be a pastor after the service, or someone with whom they might share an affinity, live by, have similar age children, etc.
What do you think? Can we all make this our personal goal for Sunday mornings this fall?! And if you do meet new visitors, would you let me know (email@example.com) so that I can track who’s new and make sure they’re getting plugged in? Thanks!