As we approach Easter and anticipate larger than normal attendance numbers, we want to make sure that we are great hosts as visitors enter our doors. As Exodus is our home, let’s treat every visitor as we would a guest to our home. Here are 10 ways we can be hospitable as a church on Easter and every Sunday!
1. Be willing to walk
On Easter morning, let’s reserve our main parking lot across the street from the worship space for visitors. There is plenty of parking around the downtown area that we can use, saving the most obvious choice so that newcomers feel welcomed.
2. Arrive early
Plan to be here early so that you can get your children checked in, get everyone settled, and have time to greet newcomers with a smile.
3. Be a minimalist
Bring only the essentials with you–a Bible, notebook, small handbag. It will feel much less crowded without extra or large items. Place these items in your seat or on the floor rather than on the seat next to you. We will need every seat for people.
4. Sit front and center
The front few rows are often left empty. Move up and fill in those front rows first. For every row, move to the center seats first so that others don’t have to squeeze past to find a seat.
5. Keep walkways clear
We all love to talk to our friends, but too often we stop to chat in the path where people are trying to get through. If you strike up a conversation, please be considerate and move aside so that others can easily pass through the hallways and aisles.
6. Clear the clutter
Check that the area around you is free of left behind coffee cups or trash, even if they aren’t yours.
7. Greet guests first
If you see someone you don’t recognize, go talk to them before chatting with your friends. Introduce yourself and draw them into conversation. Offer to help them find childcare or the restrooms or coffee, then take them there. Introduce them to an elder or your other friends nearby.
A genuine smile to a visitor goes a long way in making them feel comfortable. Exodus is a happy place and “If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it”!
9. Invite people back
People love to be invited and included. A sincere “We’d love to see you here again” helps visitors to feel wanted.
10. Let the gospel shine
Our greatest goal in being hospitable as a church is that Jesus is preached and disciples are made. When people are comfortable, they can focus on the message. When people are comfortable, they are more likely to return and learn more about who Christ is and what he has done, is doing, and will do. Let’s do our very best to let the gospel shine!