How to Help New People Feel Welcome (November 2016)

When a new person shows up at our meeting, YOU are the person who makes that person stay – or never return!

Introduce yourself to anyone you see who you don’t recognize or know very well. Try to learn their name! It helps to say it out loud several times as soon as you hear it – a good way is to introduce the person to several others.

Smile! Many visitors say that people didn’t smile at them. Say that you’re glad to meet them, say that you’re glad they came, say that you hope they like it here – but smile when you say it.

Treat them like a VIP! A guest IS a Very Important Person. Treat them like they’re special. Don’t turn away to talk to somebody else and leave a visitor hanging.

• Make sure that visitors sign the guest book! Be especially sure that they leave their address, e-mail and telephone number. This helps us get in touch with them later.

Escort them! Introduce them to several other people, and ask if they’d like to come for Sunday School. If you don’t know where the different classes meet, ask one of the teachers or the pastor to help.

Find out about their interests! It often helps to introduce a new person to someone in the meeting who has a similar job, background, hobby or concern. Make sure everyone you introduce the person to learns their name, too!

• Do they have any special needs? Difficulty in walking or hearing? A large-print Bible or copy of the hymns? Need help to locate the rest room?

• Give them something to take home! Not just the worship bulletin, but a recent copy of the newsletter, our meeting brochure, and any appropriate literature from the rack.

Invite them back! Let them know how glad you are that they came, and that you’ll be looking for them the next time they come. And next week – recognize them!

– Josh Brown