Saturday, April 19, 2008

Making Guests Feel Welcome

With my move to the Houston area last fall I experienced something totally new to me in my adult life--looking for a church to join. Pretty much my entire adult life I have served on the staff of a church somewhere and so I have just always had churches pursuing me, not the other way around.

Well, to say the least, it’s been a whole new experience! After so many years as a Minister of Education trying to attract and assimilate new people, a different shoe has been on my own foot. I will spare you for now all that I have seen and heard, but it has been a fresh and sometimes humorous journey.

My fresh encounter with all this made me especially alert to reading David Francis’ recent article entitled Ten Ways to Make Guests Feel Unwelcome. I received it by way of eSource which is a weekly newsletter offering help, encouragement, and advice for Ministers of Education, and Sunday School directors and coordinators. Each newsletter features links to helpful articles and information about new products and upcoming Sunday School training and leadership events. And once a month, you'll find an article written by LifeWay's Sunday School Director, David Francis. You can sign up to receive eSource for free @,1703,A=166562&M=200738,00.html?

In his most recent article, David says in his twisted style:

Too many people visiting your church? Need to do some things to discourage them from coming back a second time? Be careful: If you do the opposite of even six or seven of the items on this list, you might discover that guests are returning for a second visit. Some will even enroll in your Sunday School or join the church. To keep that from happening, try a few of these ideas:

  1. Make first-time guest parking inconvenient
  2. Use grouchy greeters
  3. Forgo a Welcome Center
  4. Treat guests like a doctor's office treats new patients
  5. Don't escort guests to their classrooms
  6. Put questions in parents' minds
  7. Make finding a seat really hard
  8. Have guests stand up while everyone else sits
  9. Randomly call on people to read or pray
  10. Don't contact guests after their visit

Until next time…share the journey and enjoy the ride!


You can read his entire article, Ten Ways to Make Guests Feel Unwelcome @

Other related articles:

By All Means Reach People by Gary Hardin @

Clear the Clutter to Make Room for More People by David Francis @

How Do Adult Sunday School Classes Assimilate Guests? by John McClendon @

How Do Adult Sunday School Classes Assimilate New Church Members? by John McClendon @

I-6 Invite: Free Booklet and Training Resource Downloads @

Keep in Touch with Irregular Class Attenders by Richard Dodge @

Seven Steps to Making Sunday School Guests Feel Welcome by Keith Wilkinson @

Simple Steps to Orient New Believers to Sunday School by Dwayne McCrary @

The Importance of the Door! by David Francis @

What Brings People Back to Sunday School? by Richard Dodge @