Skip Navigation

7 practical elements of welcoming

SUMMARY: Creating a welcoming and hospitable climate in your church begins at the parking lot and continues into the heart of the congregation. The ministry of welcoming is the responsibility of the entire church family, not of a committee or a few volunteers. To create a lifestyle of welcoming in your congregation, remember these seven practical elements.

1. Display visible, clear and concise signs that a first-time visitor can easily understand and follow. Learn how to improve your welcome to visitors by completing the "Comfort Checklist."

2. Station greeters at all building entrances, not just the sanctuary. Prepare greeters for their role by sharing "Guidelines for Greeters."

3. Train ushers to be your worship “hosts” (not gatekeepers). Learn more about preparing ushers for their role by sharing "Guidelines for Ushers."

4. The congregation is even more influential than the greeters and ushers in creating a welcoming climate. Prepare church members for their role by sharing the "Welcoming Tips” sheet.

5. Offer cues and aids during worship. Never assume people know what you know! Discover how to make worship more welcoming with a “WOW! Worship of Welcoming” training session.

6. Invite people to stay for social time and announce where to find the coffee! Learn more about ways to invite people by using the “Inviting Practice” sheet.

7. Remember to say “thank you for coming” and “we hope to see you again.” Discover more welcoming skills by reviewing the “Ideas That Show We Care” sheet.

Order the new Welcoming Ministry Training Manual and Planning Handbook with all of these handouts, 13 training sessions and a companion DVD for $39.95.

To learn more about developing a welcoming ministry in your congregation, visit