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“YOU Are A Greeter, Too!”

The View from the Pulpit:

Dear Members of Resurrection Lutheran Church,

 

As I mentioned in last week’s “The View from the Pulpit,” during the month of June let’s examine the question: “Is Our Congregation ‘User Friendly?’”  The answer to that question – along with the many questions that go through the minds of our church guests – are critically important because, depending upon our visitor’s Sunday morning experience, they may or may NOT return!  Last week, I challenged all members of Resurrection to give some prayerful thought on how we can be a ‘User Friendly’ Congregation – and I pray that we have done just that!  Here is something else to think about:

YOU  Are  A  Greeter, Too!”

Remember the first time you worshipped at Resurrection?  I do.  Of course, my first time was quite different, because I had a ‘tour guide’ (whose name was Dick Hellbaum!) and I was considering the Divine Call to become the pastor at Resurrection.  Most first time worship guests at Resurrection are NOT so fortunate – they do NOT have a tour guide.  As a church guest, there are hesitations and questions about where to sit, what the bulletin is and does, the Holy Communion distribution procedure, the hymnbook, the projection system, the location of the restrooms – or the church nursery – or the Sunday School Enrollment Area – or where the coffee is after the Early Service – or . . . (any number of things!)!  When people are asked why they come back, they almost always say, “I had a good experience!  I wanted to come back, and I did!”  Some do, and that is truly a blessing of the Lord.  But others DON’T!  WHY?  The two most numerous complaints is that (1) they were left standing BY THEMSELVES in the Fellowship Hall during the Fellowship Time following the Early Service or the Adult Bible Study, and (2) NO ONE spoke to them – before, during or after the worship services.

What can I do to make our visitors – our church guests – comfortable?  Begin with these simple steps:  Make eye contact.  Smile.  Shake a hand.  Ask their names.  If you feel like you are introducing yourself to a long-term member, so what?  This just may be your chance to make a friend.  Do what I, as your pastor, have to do and state the obvious: “I’m so sorry, but I don’t remember your name.”  It is a phrase I use a lot!  Take the initiative, because we should NEVER expect our church guests to do that!  They have taken the initiative just to come.  The Friendship Pads are there for that very reason, to help you learn names!

Some visitors are confused by our worship.  Why not sit next to them and guide them through the liturgy?  While we try to be “user friendly,” we slip more often than we like!

Reflect on this: the eternal salvation of someone walking through the door of Resurrection for the first time may well rest on YOU!  What a joy it would be to see us all at Resurrection be EVERY SUNDAY GREETERS!  Let’s strive to make …

Our Congregation ‘User Friendly!

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”  [Hebrews 13:2]

The grace and peace of the Risen Lord Jesus be with you all …

Your Fellow Servant in Christ our Lord,

Pastor Hank Hollar