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How Much Space Do I Need?

Adding a Second Service

Church Growth and Visitation

The Unchurched In Your State

Growth Rates

Church Growth Basics

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.

Colossians 4:5


Thank you for your interest in becoming a minister of hospitality. Five percent of the people who visit a church on any given Sunday, have never been to any church before. That fact helps us to see why the greeting ministry is undoubtedly one of the most important task in the worship experience.

I remember once when I was out visiting guests who had visited a church where I was a on staff. I rang the doorbell, and a man in his seventies came to the door. When I introduced myself to him, he grabbed me by the arm and dragged me into his house. I will never forget his words. “Get in here and tell me what you people have at that church!” His wife and he were Jehovah’s Witnesses, invited by one of our members who constantly pleaded with them to try our church. I am convinced the loving attitude of the members made the difference. This material can be used as a simple guideline to begin making a difference in someone's life. After all, you are a minister of hospitality.

AS EASY AS 1, 2, 3 ...

1. Smile

Your greatest asset in greeting is your smile. No words of welcome will be effective without a loving smile and a warm touch.

2. Care

Never shake one person’s hand while talking to another. Focus on the individual you are presently greeting. Be observant, taking care of any needs you see.

3. Share

Your church is really not your own. It belongs to God and therefore should be shared for His purposes. Make certain to share all your favorite things with outsiders such as, your friends, your pastor, small groups, etc. Introduce visitors to as many people as seems comfortable for the situation. Make sure the visitor feels welcome not only on their initial visit, but to return as well.

1 Peter 4:9-11

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.


Parking Lot Greeters

The first contact visitors will have with church members. Needs will vary according to the size of a church, It is important to pay attention to the needs of all people, including handicapped, mothers needing assistance with children and baby bags, etc.

Door Greeters

Help greeting people for worship, hand out bulletins, and make certain worshippers who need special assistance receive the help they need.

Welcome Center Greeters

Have literature and information available for your guest. If your church uses name tags, make certain everyone has an opportunity for a name tag, but never force anyone to wear one.  

Escort Greeters

Escort guest and members to nursery, children’s rooms and other various destinations, don’t just point the way. This will give you an opportunity to start building a bridge to life long relationships. Remember that on average, five percent of the first time visitors in our country have never been to a church before.


Ushers should assist everyone needing help to find seating in the sanctuary. It’s okay to ask where they would like to sit if seating is available near the front and the back.

Matthew 5:47

And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?  

We use the visitor welcome scale (shown below) to rate how friendly a church is to newcomers. Each action on the scale has been designated points according to the impact it will make on the church visitors worship experience. Don’t carry your calculator into church with you to ad your scores, one smile or ten smiles is still only ten points. Most churches in this country score 20 points or less and that’s only because of the greeting time set aside in the worship service. Make certain you go out of your way to help your guests feel welcome before, and also after the service. You may be the first thing they think of, and the last thing they remember about attending your church.

Hebrews 13:2

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it.


Imagine with me for a moment, you and your family arrive at the church you’ve been wanting to check out. No one is there to help you find a parking area and there are no visitor parking signs. There is nothing like saying we weren’t  expecting you, is there?

Well, there are a few people getting out of a van over there, so you can park next to them. Say… since you don’t know where to go just follow them in. Maybe they aren’t visitors too. Once inside, you may want to keep the family all together since this is your first visit and you don’t know what to expect and what ministries they have for the children and youth. Maybe if you could have found a bulletin, more information would be listed there.

The music begins and soon people are greeting each other. Be sure to smile so you don’t look like a visitor and feel too out of place in case someone speaks you (it could happen). They seem to like each other in this church, even though the man up front prompted them to shake hands and hug. After the service you are easily able to slide out of the building un-detected, since everyone seems to be pre-occupied discussing where they will go eat lunch.

Be honest, how many points did you score by this evaluation scale last week? Imagine what church would be like without your ministry.

Read more about what visitors see…


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…upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

—  Matthew 16:18