5 Common Greeter Mistakes to Correct in the New Year

5 Common Greeter Mistakes to Correct in the New Year

I guess I’m a bit picky here

If your church has a greeter ministry, it’s already ahead of most churches. I should just be grateful you have such a ministry.

But you do want it to improve, right?

Greeter ministries, like any other ministries, can get in a rut. And since we are about to greet a new year, let’s have an honest conversation about how to begin a new year with some improvements in your greeter ministry.

Here are the five most common greeter ministry mistakes. The good news is they are all easily correctable.

  1. Greeters who only converse with people they know. Sure, they will give a perfunctory “hello” to those they see, but many only have conversations with those they know. Sometimes greeters spend most of their time talking to one another. A great greeter strikes up a conversation with someone he or she does not know.
  2. Failure to have greeters in the worship center before services begin. This issue is commonplace. What happens when guests arrive to attend services? They usually go sit down and wait for the services to begin. With no one speaking to them. With no one seated by them. I will expand on this issue in an upcoming post.
  3. Combining the greeter function with the person who hands out bulletins/worship folders. Greeters just have to be free to greet! They can’t greet and converse if they are busy handing out a bulletin to each passerby.
  4. Greeters who fail to introduce themselves. It’s not a true greeting unless the greeter takes time to introduce himself or herself to a number of people. But what if the person receiving the greeting is a long-term member? You know, I’ve never known members to get mad because someone is making an effort to get to know them better.
  5. Failure to have greeters in place after the services have begun. Guests will be late. They may never have been to your church before. They may have had problems getting the kids ready. They may have underestimated the travel time. Sometimes we have asked “secret guests” to be 10 minutes late to a service intentionally. Nearly three-fourths of the time, there is absolutely no one there to greet them for their late arrival.

Yes, greeters can make a big difference in how guests perceive your church. I am grateful many of your churches have greeters. I am even more grateful when you strive for excellence with these ambassadors of hospitality.

Let me hear from you.

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Thom Rainer
Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources (LifeWay.com). Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and six grandchildren. He was founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism, and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His many books include Surprising Insights from the Unchurched, The Unexpected Journey, and Breakout Churches.