Not all churches use the “passing of the peace” handshake fest, but some do.
Listen in as I’m interviewed about the in-service greeting, sometimes called the passing of the peace.
- What is it?
- What is the weirdest one you’ve ever experienced?
- What is the best greeting moment I’ve experienced?
- What should we not do?
- What should we do?
- What are some things to say?
- How can we use this moment to help visitors?
Don’t let a symbol of being a peacemaker become a fear-maker in the heart of your visitor.
Note: This version replaces an older version with a broken audio.
Older version still on youtube with historical view counts, shares, etc.
What could you suggest as a great tip for those who practice this moment in the service?
How can it become a great hospitality moment?
Share your comments below. Don’t be afraid to be the first.
Wolfgang Gregorius says
Our church also engages in a “Welcome Time” where members meet and greet and shake hands but before that begins, our pastor makes it a priority to tell the visitors and guests how special they are and we are blessed that they chose to come to our church. He asks them to sit a “place of worship” (the seat they are sitting in) while members go around meeting, shaking hands, hugging, and this too helps our members recognize the visitors which are welcomed warmly. By sitting down, the ushers are able to hand a visitor’s card for the guests to fill out and turn in later as a record of their visit to our church.
Howard Yonce says
I am training greeters/ushers at our church for a new program that rolls out in 2 weeks. I have the greeters meeting the visitors at the door seat them and introduce them to at least one family sitting around the visitors.At the time of Pass the Peace the visitors know one family that makes sure they are introduced to others. Also, having at least 2 greeters at the door frees one greeter to seat the visiting family without leaving the door unattended.
Jo Ann Williams says
Our Church has a time of fellowship. during this time everyone greets and welcome each other.
The greeters serving during the service before are required to greet everone upon entering the building.
teresa humphries says
I place my greeters at front and side doors to welcome visitors. We show them where the childrens church and nursery is and we have gift bags with booklets and info on our church in the bags.My trouble is keeping greeters , people change their minds and go from place to place. how can i make Greeter Ministry appealing to our members? or is it that they must be lead to serve?
Our greeters rotate – they serve once a month. Most have a servants heart and believe this is their ministry. I watch body language and facial expressions when recruiting people for the position. I ask them to think about it and let me know if their body language says “no” or they don’t answer with a joyful “yes”. That way the people who are best fitted for the job are having fun and enjoying themselves and we don’t have any sour faces at the doors.
I hope the greeters carry their joy of greeting into the sanctuary.
Church size 700 to 800 with 35 greeters
I have served as a greeter/usher at our church for some time now and am now stepping up to lead our greeter/usher teams. Therefore we are looking at ways to improve this ministry. We cuurently have a greeter placed at the front door to welcome everyone that enters and two greeters at the entrance of the sanctuary to greet each person, give them a church bulletin and accompany those that are new or visiting to a seat. During meet & greet the pastor encourages everyone to shake hands or hug someone they do not know and to do it out of our section of seating.
Dave Payette says
One thing I saw in a church in Florida on Anna Marie Island was, because there are a lot of tourists on vacation going to church, the pastor at the time of the Peace or greeting in the pews, makes an announcemment saying: ” will all those who have attended here at least one other time or more please stand. Ok now please look around you and please greet those sitting near by feel welcome and in a few minutes we will continue with the service.” To my way of thinking this approach is much less intimidating for the first time visitors.
Glenda Wogoman says
Thank you very much for the videos. I am preparing a presentation for our greeter/usher training on October 6. The information you have provided sheds light on things I have not thought about.
We have not really emphasized greeting visitors in the sanctuary like we should have. Our door greeters greet the guests and introduce them to the Welcome Center greeter who provides them with a gift book and has them fill out the Connect Card and introduces them to greeters at the sanctuary door who greet and hand out the bulletins. They help them find a seat.
Great example of how we can go beyone simply “greeting”, and move on to an extravagent welcome!
Theresa Craigg says
As Head Usher, I have 2 Greeters at the door and 2 Ushers in the sanctuary. The Greeters will greet with a handshake and a warm welcome. The Ushers will direct them to their seat. During the service there is a special time for Officially welcoming the guests by the Pastor or a designated minister and those members close by would give a handshake and a(hug if you are familiar with the guest and if it’s a female). At that time we give a welcome package and invite them again. Their information is kept on file for follow up. More importantly, at the end of the service the Pastor would go to door and personally greet them. I am planning on doing a refresher training and would like the views of others. There is always room for improvement.
Thanks everyone for sharing some of the customs for your church! I appreciate it.
I am at a mega church, what is a way of knowing visitors from regular members when coming in the door. How can I get the first time visitors attention?
Margaret Griffin says
We are working on a greeter program and your videos really “hit home.” We have a greeter (s) in the Narthex to greet everyone (members and visitors) . But we should make extra effort to welcome visitors during the short time of “passing the peace.” We greet them again with a small gift after the service when they shake hands and meet our pastor. Your suggested comments to welcome visitors and make them feel comfortable are great. We have a lot of work to do. When service is over I do wish members would hang around and introduce themselves to visitors if they haven’t already met them.
Noreen Kuso says
As Head Usher, I have 4 Greeters. 2 Greeters at the first entrance and other 2 Greeters at the 2nd entrance and 3 Ushers in the Aisle. The 1 Usher at the first aisle, 2nd Usher at the second aisle and the 3rd Usher at the third aisle. The Greeters will greet with a handshake and a warm welcome. The Ushers will direct them to their seat. During the service there is a special time for Officially welcoming the guests by the Pastor or a designated minister and those members close by would give a handshake and a(hug if you are familiar with the guest and if it’s a female). Pastor will asked to go around and shake hands and welcome with 5 different people in the church. At that time we give a welcome package and invite them again. Their information is kept on file for follow up. More importantly, at the end of the service the Pastor would go around in church and personally greet them. I am planning on doing a refresher training and would like the views of others. There is always room for improvement. We having a usher training with our Pastor’s wife in next week Saturday.