There’s a fine line between being welcomed and being embarrassed…

There’s no question that too many churches are pretty poor when it comes to welcoming new visitors. I can’t count how many churches I visited over the years without a single person saying hello, or introducing themselves.

So #1 – let’s think about doing it better. After hearing from hundreds of church focus groups, one of the top responses our team at Cooke Media Group hears is that a major reason people decided to join a church was because they were so moved by the welcome on their first visit.

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On the other hand, there’s a strange trend I’ve also seen worth noting: the “over the top” welcome.

I’ve actually visited churches that have lines of people applauding when people walk in the door – like a football team taking the field. Others hold signs or hand out balloons. In places like that the lobby can have a carnival atmosphere.

Don’t get me wrong (see #1). I’m all for a welcoming environment, creating a “welcome team” and training ushers to make people feel at home.

But in the effort, be careful about going over the top. It’s one thing to feel welcomed, and something else entirely to be made to feel embarrassed or awkward.

Just make it genuine. It’s hard to go wrong there…

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