We don’t have a greeting team at church. There is no one who has a badge that says “greeter” whose job it is to make sure new people feel comfortable and engaged. We have ushers who help people find their seats. We have children’s ministry volunteers who get kids signed up to participate in Christ Church kids. But we don’t have what is a staple in so many churches, we don’t have designated greeters.
This glaring lack is not just happenstance. It is an intentionally missional choice. In our new member’s class (which is coming up again starting March 24th INSERT LINK), one of the things we go over is to become a member of Christ Church means that you are volunteering for the greeting team. Everyone at Christ Church is a greeter. Everyone owns the responsibility to look for who is new, to reach out to them, engage them and seek to serve them in whatever way possible. That’s not a weekly “ministry team” assignments. Greeting others is a fundamental part of what it means to be a Christian.
Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you (Rom 15:7 ESV)
One of the most consistent comments I get from new people is that they feel so welcomed by our church. Just this past week a new guest asked me why everyone was so friendly. I love getting these opportunities to share how the good news of Jesus love for us makes us people who care about others.
This greeting ministry isn’t just a before church thing. The most crucial time to engage new people is 30 second after the service has concluded. That’s when they decide if they are going to get engaged or make a bolt for the door. I love standing by the entrance and just watching our church engage people after the service. This past Sunday I saw two guests being prayed for and another being given information about our small groups. The members who were doing these things weren’t doing it because they were “assigned”. They were doing it because they love Jesus and want to share that love with others.
As we continue to grow, I think maintaining this welcoming culture is going to be harder and harder. However, by the grace of God, I want to continue to call us to this vision. I hope we never have to have a greeting team, but that each member continues to carry an individual responsibility each and every week to find someone new and embody the love of Jesus for them.