GUESTS & Questions to ask your greeters to find out if they have the “gift of hospitality” (Rom. 12:9-14).

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel:  Dr. Mark Collins is a missional coach candidate and a leader in Canada who oversees church renewal and consulting for his denomination. As a “missional coach” candidate, he and other leaders follow me each year at their own expense to learn my consulting practices.

This year Mark shared (and gave me permission to share here) a training exercise for greeters.  It can help them (and you) ascertain if they have the gift of hospitality (1 Peter 4:9, Rom. 12:9-13, 16:23, Acts 16:14-15, Heb. 13:1-2) and the chapter on spiritual gifts in my book Spiritual Waypoints (an overview can be found here: https://churchhealthwiki.wordpress.com/2015/04/29/spiritual-gifts-list-how-to-help-others-discover-their-ministry-calling-spiritualwaypointsbook/)

Give your greeters, ushers and/or hosts the following questionnaire.  Answers are in bold in the following questionnaire.

“Welcome to Our Church”

A Training for Greeters. Ushers. Hosts.

A person coming into our church for the first time will feel: _________, or _________ or _________ or _________ or _________.

It’s our Job to let them know they are _________and _________.

Creating the Wow Factor

  • _________ the door open
  • _________ with coats and kids
  • _________ materials & gifts to give
  • _________ them with care
  • _________ them

How to identify first time guests:

  • Watch the _________
  • Watch for _________
  • Ask “____________________________________?” or more to the point “____________________________________?

How to greet guests:

  • Welcome, ___________________________. 
  • Ask open ended __________________
  • Connect them to the right _________
  • _________ them for coming, _________ them to ask any questions
  • _________ don’t _________

Navigating Your Guests through Classic Church Culture 

  • Kids Check In and Kids Ministry Orientation in General
  • Locating Bathrooms
  • The Calm Before the Storm (Pre-Service)
  • Foreign Moments in the Service (singing, kids dismissal, sacraments, prayer moments, altar time, offering, greeting time, dismissal
  • The end of the service
  • Lobby Time / Coffee Time

The End of the Service is Crucial

  • _________ the first time guest in any activity that is planned.  ___________________________” “___________________________ 
  • Enquire about their experience. “So … __________________?  or “___________________________?
  • Empathize with their experience.  __________________” or “___________________________ 
  • Invite them to take the next step by ..
    • _________ what the steps are
    • _________ the information you need
  • _________ there is follow-up. 

Some Reminders …. 

  • Don’t _________ they don’t want to talk to you.  Err on the side of friendliness
  • Always _________ people to other people.  Never try and fly solo. 
  • This is your _________ and you want to make sure they have a good time. 
  • People will come for the _________ but stay for the _________ 
  • _________ with your whole face. 
  • _________ words they don’t understand. 
  • You are there __________________ not for you.  They are the most important people in the room.
  • The __________________ moves in the lobby too. 
  • If you can’t be _________, find another _________
  • _________ your welcome and questions. 
  • No one __________________ 
  • Engage but don’t _________. 
  • Retaining visitors is _________ to the health of a church. 

Everybody is looking for 2 things.  To be _________ and to be _________.  If we can provide those things, we’ll have a welcoming church.  


“Welcome to Our Church”

A Training for Greeters. Ushers. Hosts

A person coming into our church for the first time will feel: nervous, or scared or unsure or tentative or mad.

It’s our Job to let them know they are expected and welcome.

Creating the Wow Factor

  • Hold the door open
  • Help with coats and kids
  • Have materials & gifts to give
  • Handle them with care
  • Honor them

How to identify first time guests:

  • Watch the eyes
  • Watch for mannerisms
  • Ask “How long have you been coming here?” or more to the point “Is this your first time?

How to greet guests:

  • Welcome, I’m glad you’re here.
  • Ask open ended questions and listen
  • Connect them to the right people
  • Thank them for coming, invite them to ask any questions
  • Walk don’t point

Navigating Your Guests through Classic Church Culture

  • Kids Check In and Kids Ministry Orientation in General
  • Locating Bathrooms
  • The Calm Before the Storm (Pre-Service)
  • Foreign Moments in the Service (singing, kids dismissal, sacraments, prayer moments, altar time, offering, greeting time, dismissal
  • The end of the service
  • Lobby Time / Coffee Time

The End of the Service is Crucial

  • Engage the first time guest in any activity that is planned.  Would you like to join me?” “Can I get you a coffee?
  • Enquire about their experience. “So … what did you think?  or “What was something you didn’t expect today
  • Empathize with their experience.  I remember my first time” or “sometimes this church can be overwhelming
  • Invite them to take the next step by ..
    • Outlining what the steps are
    • Getting the information you need
  • Ensure there is follow-up.

Some Reminders ….

  • Don’t assume they don’t want to talk to you.  Err on the side of friendliness
  • Always connect people to other people.  Never try and fly solo.
  • This is your party and you want to make sure they have a good time.
  • People will come for the show but stay for the connection
  • Smile with your whole face.
  • Avoid words they don’t understand.
  • You are there for them not for you.  They are the most important people in the room.
  • The Holy Spirit moves in the lobby too.
  • If you can’t be friendly, find another ministry
  • Practice your welcome and questions.
  • No one stands alone.
  • Engage but don’t pressure.
  • Retaining visitors is key to the health of a church.

Everybody is looking for 2 things.  To be loved and to be needed.  If we can provide those things, we’ll have a welcoming church.

#StMarksTX