First impressions

Despite my bleak contribution to Simon Jones’ excellent critic of “attractional” mission, I have (in time for Back to Church Sunday) been thinking about enhancing our welcoming and stewarding.

To that end I’ve dipped into First Impressions by Mark Waltz. Waltz argues that guests to church services want, when they arrive, to know two things from those they first meet: (1) Show me that you care about me and (2) Tell me what you what you are going to do for me now. Which should sum up the whole role of those welcoming and stewarding

Stewards, oikonomos (1 Peter 4.10) are, as I pointed out to our team, “house managers” or “overseers,” one who is entrusted with the care of something belonging to someone else.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms

Peter is telling us that stewards are to unselfishly serve others with the diverse gifts that God has freely bestowed on them in a manner that will please and glorify God

Waltz suggests that churches need to build a WOW factor into those first few moments of encounter. He says that before the service has even started most first timers have already decided whether to come again.

For those concerned about attractional mission, this is a key point. The sermon begins in the car park. First impressions need to the best impressions.

So I recently came across these ministry descriptions from a church clearly committed to ensuring that those who manage to bridge the cultural hurdle of turning up to Sunday services at least are still on board when the worship starts:

Do you want to make a difference in our church?

People Matter

When we welcome newcomers to church we are demonstrating the gracious love and care of God Himself.

It has been proven that the sermon starts in the car parking. The first ten minutes of a guest’s experience on Sunday morning matters most.

Our goal for our First Impressions Team is: “To do anything and everything to help our guests see Christ. We want to greet them with unconditional acceptance and respect that makes them feel welcomed at … . We want to give guests WOW moments”

This is a great place to get plugged into ministry as it takes so many people to make it run smoothly. If you like a smile, and can give one, you are needed!

Areas of Ministry Available:

Car Park Team: The Car Park Team assists with the traffic flow in any weather condition, must enjoy working outside, and be able to present a positive image as well as assist the elderly or the disabled with Parking and church entry.

Welcomer Team: The Welcomer is responsible to ensure that every person entering the church is greeted and that guests are offered assistance as appropriate so that everyone feels important and welcome.

Information Team: The Team will display a gracious, friendly attitude in showing guests the church facilities and answering questions regarding the facilities and ministries of the church. This team will portray the church in a positive image and help guests feel welcome.

Coffee Team Do you like a coffee shop environment? This could be the perfect place for you to volunteer. We’re looking for sharp, friendly and energetic people to help out. We are not a Starbucks but we brew fresh coffee and have hot chocolate, teas, muffins and bottled water available.

Steward Team: The Steward Team will regularly participate in worship services and will assist with overall operation of the church facilities. They will welcome, direct and seat guests and others as needed, as well as collect the offerings.

1 comment to First impressions

  • 6p00d8341d03e653ef

    John – I'm honored that you're finding my comments helpful in your ministry in the UK. More than that – I trust that God is honored as you help people he loves understand just how much they matter to him!

    God's best to you! Your teams and strategy look awesome!

    Mark Waltz

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