For those of you on the Kindle platform, I’ve learned enough to get this book to the Kindle format.
Shortly thereafter, if not on the same day, it’ll become a self-published paperback, available first from Amazon, and then through general distribution through book stores.
For nearly 3 years, readers have asked me to take this church greeter book to the print format and I’ve finally gotten the process down.
I hope that by May 1st, 2013, it’ll be ready in both formats.
To get in on the launch, be sure to sign up for the free videos on this site. That’ll get you on the list where I’ll make that annoucement.
Do you think church greeters need training?
If you said no, check out the the first segment of this short video. It may challenge you to think again.
Even if some of the comments in the video are made up, they are not out of the realm of experience either.
Most of these observations have come across my twitter feed in the last few weeks.
In fact, each week allows me a good laugh as people share their hospitality experiences (both the good and the bad).
Are you a first time church greeter?
The second part of this brief training video for church greeters gives you 10 useful tips you can put into place right away.
If you like it, give it a share.
[Note: Feed Readers may have to click through to see the video]
Church Greeter Resources mentioned:
- If you were to add another important tip to this list of 10, what would it be? Share in the comments.
I got this email the other day that warmed my heart [I've edited for some wording and spacing]
I was asked tonight if I would take the position of Leading the greeters.
I said yes but I did not know a lot about this position other than they stand at the door and greet the people.
I went online and found your information and it is very informative. It has given me insight on what I can expect and what I need to accomplish.
You presenting this information truthfully gives me great insight on what God wants in a greeter. Greeters are essential to retaining the interest of newcomers and treating the members the way God wants them to be treated with Love that he has given to all of us as his children.
I am looking forward to learning more with the information I am receiving from you. I have the honor of creating a Team to Welcome everyone in to the house of the Lord with Love.
Most of all introduce someone that may not know the Lord. Thank You. This is my first time and I will listen for the directions from the Lord.
Thanks for the feedback about free videos on greeter training that I offer on this site. I’ve got a few more coming.
All of these have come across my twitter feed:
- I’m the greeter at church today. Is it bad if I greet everyone, then go back home to bed?
- Ok, went to church & this old guy (greeter) saw me w/my kids & was like where is their dad? He was so crusty, we were like really perv?
- I have a creeper at my mom’s church . . .the creepy greeter freak me out. I don’t even like going to her church now.
- When you randomly get signed up to be a greeter for your church mass? #ihatechurch
- If Walmart greeter is warmer and more authentic than ones at church there is a problem.
- To church today, had to be a greet, which I love to do every first Sunday. I like to greet people who come to my church
- Today my greeter at Church told me to suck it up and stop complaining about being sore.
- “Nice to meet you. Who the hell are you?” Greeter at church this morning
- That awkward moment when you’re holding hands with your dad walking into church & the greeter tells you what a good looking couple you make.
- I would not join your church if the greeter gave me a flyer to another church and told me I should check them out next week
- Sometimes I hate being the greeter at church
I have a twitter feed that watches for information on church greeters.
Every Sunday, I see
- Joy at serving as a church greeter
- Complaints about experiences with rude church greeters
- Sarcasm aimed at unprepared greeters at church
- Nervous greeters announcing how nervous they are.
- Comments that are generally inappropriate for church greeters to make.
For example, some recent church greeter comments
- Being a greeter is the best job in church
- So I’m hung over and I’m supposed to be the greeter at church today this will be fun
- First thing the male greeter at church says to me “Sorry, all the cute guys were at the first service.”
- Walked into a church I’ve never been to and the greeter said “Oh, you didn’t bring a boyfriend?”
- The greeter at church asked me how old I was and I told him I was 21.
- Tomorrow I’m a greeter at my church for the first time ever. YIKES.
Your greeters may need some practical tips on making a great first impression, and some skills on how to welcome people.
The following article by Brandon Cox appeared at Faith Village and is re-posted with author’s permission.
No matter what your philosophy of Sundays in the life of your church looks like, it’s always biblical and beneficial to show love to people who are walking through the doors for the first or second time. In fact, it’s crucial. It’s very easy to come across as either disingenuous with an “in your face” approach, but it’s equally easy to seem uncaring by our silence.
As you help believers learn how to show love to new guests, here are some important principles to communicate:
- You are the first loving touch every guest will meet, which sets the stage for people to be open to life change. People will be more or less receptive to the teaching depending on how they were made to feel on the way in.
- Most guests will decide in the first few minutes if they will return, even before the music starts. It’s easy to walk into church if you’re there every week, but do you remember what it was like walking in for the first time, when you didn’t think you’d know anyone and wondered if anyone would want to know you?
- Your biggest goals are to 1.) eliminate awkwardness and 2.) encourage people. We worship together in a movie theater, so we have the advantage of knowing that people already know what it’s like to walk into a theater, but they’re still asking themselves questions like: Am I following their rules? Am I dressed appropriately? Will I be able to find the bathroom without asking?
- You are a tour guide who takes people to their destination, not a travel agent who sends them there. Walking parents and kids all the way to the next volunteer in the kids’ worship room is far better than pointing a finger and saying, “it’s down there on the right.” Walk with people and ask them questions on the way. Be genuinely interested in their lives.
- You can have a ministry of encouragement and even offer to have a brief prayer with people. Obviously, some first time guests may not be comfortable with such forwardness, but sometimes it may be highly appropriate to pray with guests before they enter the auditorium, especially if you’ve sensed a spiritual need in them. Keep it brief and don’t make things awkward, but communicate that you care.
- Everybody ought to receive a smile, a word of welcome, a loving touch (such as a handshake), and a bulletin on their way in. A smile disarms people and boosts their confidence. A word of welcome is common courtesy. A loving touch, such as a handshake or a brief hug, might be the only loving touch that guest receives this week. And a bulletin, at least in our case, is like a map for what’s going on and allows the guest to respond to the message and request more information.
Last Sunday, my wife noticed a new kid in kids’ worship. Two other boys belonging to one of our core families walked up to him and asked him if he liked video games. Upon hearing his enthusiastic “yes” they replied, “Good, you can be in our group then.” The kid belonged already, evidenced by his smile.
God showed His love for people by sending His Son to die for our sins. Are we willing to love people enough to intentionally show it with our actions?
And by the way, if you’re a believer, you’re a greeter at your church whether you’re signed up or not.
A church greeter is one of the simplest yet most important positions in the church.
Your goal is to
- share a kind word,
- open a door,
- offer a handshake or
- just lend a helping hand to people as they enter the church.
Here are 10 Guidelines to keep in mind.
- Show up on time
- Always be positive.
- Prepare yourself spiritually.
- Be friendly to all who enter.
- Pray in advance for your ministry
- Show honor and dignity to our visitors and guests
- Pay attention to what needs your visitors and guests might have.
- Follow up after the worship service and say good bye with style.
- Prepare yourself physically: Good grooming, appropriate clothing, fresh breath.
- Notice for ministry opportunities to pray with your guests before they leave.
Remember, your goal is simple and direct: Make people feel welcome at your church!
Many thanks. Your eBook was just the thing I had been looking for as I am trying to improve the Meeting & Greeting at our Anglican Church.
The ebook is certainly comprehensive and is very suitable for our two congregations of 50 – 80 each. Will help to change the process from being a ‘chore’ to ‘enjoyable’.
I have made a Keynote presentation for Meeting and Greeting 19 slides.
Whangaparaoa, New Zealand.
I’ve recently been coaching some churches that have purchased a copy of Church Greeters 101.
In each case, I’ve talked with a relatively new volunteer in charge of the Church Greeters Ministry.
Often this volunteer is looking for new ideas to improve the existing greeter ministry in their church. They see that their greeters are
- showing up late
- not fulfilling their roles
- apathetic in their hello.
Here are a 3 quick start ideas:
1. Cast the Vision for Church Greeters.
When church greeters see their task as only “Saying hello to people walking in the door on a Sunday morning,” it’s pretty easy to consider the role as unimportant. They don’t see the big picture their role plays in the over all welcome experience.
If you are the greeter ministry leader, regularly help your greeters see the big picture of church hospitality and how it helps people grow in journey with Christ.
Action step: What can you do in the next 7 days to cast a vision?
2. Appreciate your Church Greeters.
We have all experienced the impact of appreciation and encouragement. A regular thank you or action of appreciation often remotivates volunteers and honors them for their work.
- Send a thank-you note.
- Send a Christmas greeting card or similar at another holiday.
- Spontaneously say “thank-you” during a chance or planned meeting or gathering.
- Ask a greeter for their input about a program or evaluation.
- Utilize a suggestion box. Carefully consider their suggestions!
I try to send hand written thank you notes to people who support this ministry and have been told several times how appreciated those notes are.
Action Step: Who do you need to say thank you to? Go do it within the next 7 days.
3. Email Quick Tips to your Church Greeters
Some of your greeter volunteers don’t necessarily know what is expected of them and may feel nervous about serving. They may also feel embarrassed about asking you what to do, so help minimize that potential nervousness by emailing some quick tips to your greeters when reminding them of their upcoming service.
Some churches are choosing to create a series of 12 emails they send out to all their greeter volunteers, one per month with some quick tips.
Here is one example:
Read: 10 Tips for Church Greeters.
Action step: Use the share feature below on the 10 Tips for Church Greeters article and share it with your church greeter team, facebook, and linked in.
Churches are putting the finishing touches on all the new programs that’ll launch this fall:
- New Sermon Series
- New Small Groups
- New Sunday School Classes
- New Outreach Events
Many are planning for new visitors, and putting the final fresh touches on their hospitality ministries.
But here is the question:
- Does your greeter ministry feel stale and unmotivated?
- Are your new volunteer greeters eager to do a great job?
- Do you think your greeters are nervous about knowing what to do?
- Are you running out of time to organize a training event for your greeting team?
- Can’t get your volunteers together during this busy end of summer travel season?
I’ve recorded an on-line training event for your greeter volunteers to help you give that last minute training. It’s now available for purchase in the store.
Read more at our main site:
Image source: Unknown
- Greeter Volunteers,
- Hospitality Coordinators
- Potential Volunteers for Hospitality teams.
When: Instant Access to download the video and handout
Duration: 1 hour, 20min or so
Cost: $9.97 for instant access to the download.
Listen in as I’m interviewed on
- I’m a first time church greeter: What do I do?
- What is the most important thing for a church greeter?
- What 4 actions are important for a church greeter to remember?
- What should I say to a first time church visitor?
- What can I do after the service?
- Does my role as a greeter really matter?
For more greeter videos, look for the free church greeter videos link at