More Than Just Friendly: Let’s be WELCOMING

By Nate Schofield

Wouldn’t it be great if this Sunday — Easter Sunday — our church was flooded with new faces? Well, it can be. We just need to invite them! But then once they’re here, will they feel so welcomed that they immediately feel like they belong? Like they can’t imagine not coming back next week, and the week after?

Last week I wrote about the difference between a friendly church and a welcoming church. I talked about how it isn’t enough for a first-time guest to simply see friendly people; they must feel truly welcomed to the church.  Here are five practical ways we can be a more WELCOMING church, especially this Easter Sunday.

1. Pray for opportunities to connect with guests
Ask God to give you the opportunity to meet a first-time guest. Then, be prepared to follow through and help that person feel at home in this church family.

2. Avoid the Holy Huddle
It’s great to gather together with friends and family, but when we only circle up with people we already know and like, it gives the impression that we don’t care about newcomers. There is nothing wrong with catching up with our friends, but if you see a new person walk into the room, excuse yourself to meet the new guest. Ask them how you can help. You could even invite them to sit with you or join you for lunch after the service.

3. Park and Walk
Let’s join together to give our guests some extra special attention. Consider parking a little further away and doing a little walking. Save the front spots for first-timers, for those with mobility challenges, and families with young children.

4. Front and Center
We all know what seats are most desired in church – the back row and the aisles. Consider sitting closer to the front. More importantly, sit toward the center of the pews. At the very least, if someone enters the room after you, offer to slide to the center, making room for them near the aisle. Don’t make them climb over you to find a seat.

5. Volunteer to Serve
Consider stepping up and serving on one of the many teams that work hard to welcome everyone to our church on Sunday mornings. There are many jobs, large and small, that help keep things running smooth every week. If you think God is calling you to serve this Easter, please contact nancy.bilderback@connectbcc.org to find a ministry that would be a fit for you.

In closing, as we prepare for Easter Sunday, I’d encourage you to spend some time meditating on the words found in 1 Peter 4:8-9.

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in it’s various forms.”