It’s that time of the year again. Well, to be fair, actually it’s always that time of the year. It’s the time when we start getting more visitors to our church!
It’s when there are people who decide to check us out on a Sunday morning, or look through our website and then come and visit. Folks who may have been thinking about it for quite a while and finally decided to give us a tentative try. And they’re coming with questions, with hopes, with expectations, and definitely with fears and uncertainties.
The big question for me is can we deliver? Can we as a church manage to truly welcome each and every person who comes through our doors? We have a pretty amazing greeting and visitor ministry here at the church – we have a great cast of volunteers every Sunday who are greeters at the doors, ushers in the sanctuary, and in the church office, the welcome table, and who put our hospitality table together. I’ve always enjoyed the smiles and upbeat personalities that each one of these volunteers brings to their greeting. Their presence is crucial.
But, you know, our greeting and welcoming isn’t just done by the folks who have officially volunteered to do it. We are ALL greeters and welcomers here at First Unitarian! And the experience that new folks have is connected with what each and everyone one of us does every Sunday. Want to step up and do you part in making our church a welcoming one? Here are some ways you can do that:
1) Wear your nametag every week. (if you need a replacement, email Brandi@firstuuwilm.org or call the church office at 302-478-2384)
2) Talk to someone new at coffee hour – I know this can be a hard one, because it’s so much more natural to talk with folks we know. But what would it look like it you tried to talk with just one person you didn’t know each week?
3) Introduce yourself – “Hi, I’m __________. I don’t believe we’ve met before.” (By the way, this is a great alternative to the 6 worst possible words to say on a Sunday morning – “is this your first time here.” Ever gotten caught by those words?)
4) If you see someone who might be a little lost in the building, offer to help them out. “Can I help you find something?” In fact, you can walk with them to where they’re going, unless of course it’s the bathroom in which case that would be extremely awkward!
Imagine what First Unitarian would feel like on Sundays if everyone was doing these few easy things? What a welcoming place we would be!! Challenge yourself (and challenge your friends) do them. This is part of how we build community every day.
Blessed be, Rev. Michelle