Extending genuine hospitality to newcomers isn’t just good manners or a good membership recruitment strategy. It embodies the Gospel and expresses Christ’s love for all. And yet too many congregations overlook this critical need. Or they welcome people in ways that are off-putting or ineffective. In this eighth Special 20th Anniversary Edition of Leading Ideas we share some of our most helpful articles and resources on making church visitors feel truly welcome.
Yvonne Gentile and Debi Nixon believe radical hospitality means going beyond mere friendliness to surprise and delight church visitors. Three keys are letting guests know they are noticed, paying attention to their needs, and consistently following up after their visit. Read more now.
Fiona Haworth and Jim Ozier, authors of Clip-In: Risking Hospitality in Your Church, offer ten tips for improving the work of your hospitality team and making newcomers to your church feel welcome. Read more now.
Lewis Center Director F. Douglas Powe says it’s important not only to attract visitors, but to create a space where they will want to stay. Congregations wondering why their visitors don’t return need to honestly assess how they respond to visitors and what their church has to offer. Read more now.
Ann Michel of the Lewis Center staff says that churches sometimes reach out to newcomers in ways that are off-putting or even counterproductive. Unfortunately, several common, well-intended welcoming strategies top the list of things that can make visitors uncomfortable or even turn them away. Read more now.
Learn best practices for building welcoming worship, church buildings, congregations, websites, and more with Be the Welcoming Church. This study includes engaging videos and a Study and Discussion Guide providing scriptures, introductory information, discussion questions, and prayers to structure a group conversation. Learn more and watch introductory videos now.
Learn how your congregation can make a good first impression with first-time visitors. 50 Ways to Welcome New People provides strategies and tips to ensure your visitors feel truly welcome and at home in worship, plus guidance on visitor follow-ups and ways to be more inviting in your church. Read now, download free, and share.