Tag Archive | Ushers

Guest Registration Form

Tim Massengale
GUEST REGISTRATION FORM

How To Use This Form

1. Hostess greets all guests, gives them a guest packet & introduces them to usher for seating.
2. After guest is seated, hostess takes form (clipped to a clipboard) to where guest is sitting.
3. Hostess says: “So glad you are with us Mr. & Mrs. Smith. The pastor has asked that I get a little information from you so he can greet you properly. Can I get your first names? Children? Home Church?
etc…”
4. The hostess fills form out, asking guest each question.
5. If service has already begun, greet guest, fill-out form in vestibule, then introduce to usher for seating.

Name Mr/Mrs/Miss_________________________________Date_____________am/pm

Children’s Names________________________________________________________

Home Church_______________________________Guest of______________________

Age Group 0-16 17-25 26-35 36-50 51-up

——–Mailing List Information——–

Address______________________________City_____________________Zip_______

Telephone ( )____________________________New Resident?________________

(The original source and/or publisher of the above material is unknown.)

Christian Information Network

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Usher-Hostess Schedules

USHER-HOSTESS SCHEDULES

USHER SCHEDULE

For

____________________
Month

________________________________________________________________________
| Time | Date | Team and Captain |
========================================================================
| Sunday | | |
| Morning | | |
|————|————-|——————————————-|
| Sunday | | |
| Night | | |
|————|————-|——————————————-|
| Bible | | |
| Study | | |
|————|————-|——————————————-|
|————|————-|——————————————-|
| Sunday | | |
| Morning | | |
|————|————-|——————————————-|
| Sunday | | |
| Night | | |
|————|————-|——————————————-|
| Bible | | |
| Study | | |
|————|————-|——————————————-|
|————|————-|——————————————-|
| Sunday | | |
| Morning | | |
|————|————-|——————————————-|
| Sunday | | |
| Night | | |
|————|————-|——————————————-|
| Bible | | |
| Study | | |
|————|————-|——————————————-|
|————|————-|——————————————-|
| Sunday | | |
| Morning | | |
|————|————-|——————————————-|
| Sunday | | |
| Night | | |
|————|————-|——————————————-|
| Bible | | |
| Study | | |
|————|————-|——————————————-|
|____________|_____________|___________________________________________|

If you will be absent or late PLEASE call you Team Captain

HOSTESS SCHEDULE

Hostesses are to be in their place of duty no later than 30 minutes before service time. Please remain in the foyer until 15 minutes after the start of service.

PLEASE CHECK IN BEFORE EACH SERVICE

Sunday Morning – 9:30 a.m.

Names 8/16|8/23|9/6 |9/13|9/20|9/27|10/4|10/11|10/18|10/25|
________________________________________________________________________
| | | | | | | | | | |
————————————————————————
| | | | | | | | | | |
————————————————————————
| | | | | | | | | | |
————————————————————————
| | | | | | | | | | |
————————————————————————

If you are unable to be in your place of duty, please call Sis. ________at no.___________ so that a replacement can be arranged.

Set up the above sample schedule the same for each church service you have.

(The original source and/or publisher of the above material is unknown.)

Christian Information Network

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Check Lists for Ushers and Hostesses

Tim Massengale
CHECK LISTS FOR USHERS & HOSTESSES

USHER/GREETER CHECK-IN LIST

_____________________________
| Service Date |
|_____________________________|
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
_______________________________________|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
AC/HT 70 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
_______________________________________|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
Spot check restrooms | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
_______________________________________|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
Fresh water in pulpit | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
_______________________________________|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
Visitor’s Cards, envelopes, etc… | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
(Vestibule area clean & neat) | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
_______________________________________|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
Church chairs straight | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
_______________________________________|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
Entryway glass clean | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
_______________________________________|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
Entry way rugs straight and | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
tile floors clean | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
_______________________________________|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
Appropriate doors unlocked | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
_______________________________________|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
Fans & lights on in Church | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
_______________________________________|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
Nursery door opened | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
_______________________________________|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
Please initial appropriate box when completed

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Simple Visitor Seating Reports

Butch Eighter
SAMPLE VISITOR SEATING REPORTS

________
| |
| |
| |
_____________________________|______|_____________________________

______________________________ ___________________________

______________________________ ___________________________

______________________________ ___________________________

______________________________ ___________________________

______________________________ ___________________________

______________________________ ___________________________

______________________________ ___________________________

______________________________ ___________________________

______________________________ ___________________________

______________________________ ___________________________
Butch Wilt Sherry Tasker
______________________________ ___________________________

______________________________ ___________________________

_______________________________ __________________________
\ /
\ /
\ /

VISITORS LIST

Directions: Please list all visitors below. Include the name of the person they came with to church. Position the visitor on the chart below by line number. PLEASE PRINT.

LINE
NO. VISITOR BROUGHT BY

______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________

____________________ ____________________ __________________
| | | | | |
| | | | | |
| | | | | |
| | | | | |
| | | | | |
| | | | | |
| | | | | |
| | | | | |
| | | | | |
|____________________| |____________________| |__________________|
Pulpit

VISITOR REPORT

a.m.
_____________ p.m. ______________
SERVICE DAY DATE

Please put an “X” with each visitor’s name at the location they are seated and see that someone compatible sits with them Please indicate:
1) If they are a “first 2) If they have friends time” or a “return” or relatives in the visitor. church.

See that this is brought to the pulpit when the offering is taken. Thank you!

PLEASE PRINT NEATLY WITH PROPER ORIENTATION!

___________________________________________________________________
| _______________ _______________________ ___________ |
| | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | |
| |_______________| |_______________________| |___________| |
|___________________________________________________________________|
| |
| _______________ _______________________ ___________ |
| | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | |
| |_______________| |_______________________| |___________| |
| PULPIT |
| ______ |
|________________________________|______|___________________________|

(The above material was prepared by Calvary Tabernacle in Indianapolis, In.)

Christian Information Network

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Welcome Letter

WELCOME LETTER

Greetings to our guests,

It is our sincere desire that you feel welcome and that you enjoy being with us. The Bible is filled with God’s expression, “come”. We feel that we are all here as a result of His invitation. He has something special for
each of us if we will let Him have His way in our hearts.

To help you feel comfortable we want you to know we are Christians who believe very strongly in God’s Word, so many of the things you will see and hear at Parkway come directly from the Scriptures.

To help you understand why we worship the way we do, we have enclosed a small brochure about worship. The lifting up of voices in song, the clapping, and raising of hands all have their origin in the Scripture. Our
enthusiasm comes from a genuine heartfelt appreciation for what the Lord has done for us.

You will also find information about a free HOME BIBLE STUDY COURSE that is available to you with no obligation. From the time Parkway Apostolic Church began, we have been offering this short course to acquaint people with the Word of God. Please look it over and let us know if you would be interested
in having a HOME BIBLE STUDY in your home or if you would like to be a part of one already in progress.

Again, we want you to feel welcome and know you are among friends. If you wish to talk with us, please feel free to give us a call.

Yours in Christ’s Love,

The Pastors

(The above material was published by Parkway Apostolic Church, Oak Creek, WI.)

Christian Information Network

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Guidelines for Greeters, Hosts and Hostesses

Guidelines for Greeters, Hosts and Hostesses
By Jackie Johnson and Pansy Hayes

I. Public relations – Our number one goal. We do not assume that people know everything. They will ask questions. You are the bureau of information though you may not have realized it.

1. Be friendly and courteous. Remember, you are the first impression visitors will receive of our church body.
i. You may stand together on one side of the door, or one at each side. At the very busy doors, it is probably better for one to stand on each side.

2. Suggested greetings. “Good morning, God bless you.” “Welcome to Peoples Church.” “Glad you could attend Peoples Church.” You may have greetings that are more suitable for you.

3. Dress conservatively. Men should wear coats and ties, and ladies wear appropriate dress or suit.

4. Please do not chew gum. It detracts from appearance and makes a poor impression.

5. Do not try to shake hands with a purse on your arm. Leave purse and Bible in safe-keeping, not in a pew unattended.

6. Wear your name badge. Visitors and members like to know your name.

7. Everyone needs a bulletin. If there are no ushers at your door, please get bulletins and pass them out. (The head usher may not realize there is no usher at your door, and if advised, can give you the bulletins.)

8. Remind visitors of our excellent nursery for 0-24 months, also Sunday School classes and child care, two years through kindergarten. Available through the second service. Sunday school classes available for all ages. Guides will escort parents and visitors to nursery and classes.

II. Time Schedule

1. Be at your door 30 minutes before service starts. Many arrive early and all should have a warm handshake and friendly greeting. If some have arrived before you and are seated on your aisle, go down and make them welcome before you stand at the door.

i. The 10:45 greeters should try to be at your doors by 10:20. It will be easier for you to get to your door through the crowded concourse, and you can be greeting those gathered there.

2. Go to your seats in the sanctuary during the last verse of the first song. An usher may escort you.

3. Opening and closing the doors. Chimes played by the organist will announce arrival of thePastors on the platform. If ushers are not at your door, close the doors and stand outside. Explain to people waiting that it will be just a few minutes while the pastor reads the scripture and prays. Open the doors as soon as prayer is over. (If ushers are available to close the door you may stand inside the sanctuary.)

III. Baptism

1. Remain at your door when baptism is begun (Sunday nights). Close the doors and remain outside until the baptism service is over. Explain diplomatically to late-comers that this is a spiritual service and we try to keep it as quiet as possible. Be firm, and nice.

IV. Accidents and Illness

1. Familiarize yourself with location of phones and how to use them.

i. Phones are on the walls, both East and West concourses, at the rear of the sanctuary, near the choir door entrance. Also there is one opposite Door #6.

Dial “0” for the switchboard operator. Dial “9” for an outside line.

Use the phone to tell switchboard operator the need for help, for a sick person or one who has fallen. She will page the head usher or the building superintendent. Of course, you will give the location of the person needing help.

2. Familiarize yourself with location of restrooms.

i. Both men’s and women’s restrooms are on the East and West concourses, across from the choir door entrances. Also, behind the music suite, East side (women’s) and West side (men’s).

3. Try to assist anyone who falls. Get the name and have someone go to the phone immediately and contact the operator as directed above. If the person needs to be helper! to the restroom, do whatever you can to help. A wheelchair is available if needed, which the head usher or building superintendent can get.

V. Substitutes

1. Try to notify your greeter-coordinator at as soon as possible. If you know you won’t be there, try to contact your coordinator by Thursday. Feel free to call in case of an emergency even if it is Sunday morning. The board is open at 8:30, and the operator will take a message and see that the greeter-coordinator gets it. The message can be sent to the tape table. Give complete information as to your name and door number.

2. You will be kept advised of the name and phone number of the current greeter-coordinator.

3. If you have a phone or address change, please notify your greeter coordinator at once!

4. Substitutes: If you will be unavailable for several Sundays, please notify greeter-coordinator so she will not try to contact you.

VI. Greeter Guides

1. Your duties will consist of standing in the main foyer where you will assist people with the following:

i. Helping people find their Sunday School rooms.
ii. Escorting mothers to the nursery area to leave babies.
iii. Helping people find restrooms, reception area, etc.
iv. Answering questions or giving information about Sunday School, Family Night, etc.

VII. “How-To” for Hosts and Hostesses only.
1. Hosts and hostesses will greet at Door “A”, which is at the foot of the stairs at the main doors. Stay at your position until after the offering has been taken and the soloist has sung. Check the concourse to see if people are waiting to enter the sanctuary. (This happens from time to time after ushers and greeters have left their posts.) Pass out bulletins to those waiting.

2. It can be difficult to ask people to wait to enter the sanctuary during the early remarks and prayer by a pastor, as it may not be possible to hear the chimes signaling the pastors’ arrival on the platform. Watch the greeters at doors 5 and 7 to see when their doors are opened and closed. Suggest to waiting late-comers that they wait to be seated, even though they prefer to proceed up the stairs.

3. After the soloist has finished, be seated right or left of Door 6. From this point you can see much of both concourses.

4. People continue to arrive, many of them first-time visitors. Hosts and hostesses will welcome them, give them a bulletin, and show them where to sit. They should be sent upstairs, unless unable to climb the stairs. Then, seat them at the back of the sanctuary. (Hosts check with ushers before sermon starts for available seats in last 3 rows, doors 5, 6, 7.)

5. Encourage wandering children to return to their Sunday School class or the church service. If they do not cooperate, you may have to contact one of the ministers to youth. Do this by contacting the switchboard operator, or have the host locate the minister. Be tactful but firm, remembering to use good public relation.

6. Children or adults who leave during the service (sermon) should be asked to seat themselves in the rear of the sanctuary if they wish to re-enter.

7. Familiarize yourselves with locations, room numbers and kinds of classes available during your service, as well as names of teachers. You will receive this information for your use. Advise those with small children of the excellent nursery facilities.

8. Remember that a first-time visitor does not know which door to open. That, along with other reasons is why Pastor and Mrs. Johnson decided to use the services of hosts and hostesses to work as greeters after the greeters and ushers have left their posts.

VIII. Information Center

The Information Center is located beneath the stairwell in the front foyer.
The Information Center is to be served by a greeter couple. There will be a typewritten sheet placed on the counter every Sunday with pertinent information concerning the activities of the week.

This article “Guidelines for Greeters, Hosts, and Hostesses” written by Jackie Johnson and Pansy Hayes is excerpted from The People’s Church.

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How to Usher

How to Usher
Jerry Wyu

Ushers are responsible for opening and preparing the church premises for worship. Jesus taught us to show our love, care, and concern to strangers as well as our neighbors (cf. Mt 25:38-40). Ushers should have a caring attitude when fulfilling their duties. Ushers provide the first exposure and impression of the church to visitors.

Objectives
-Prepare the house of God for worship services
-Prepare others to enter into the house of God
-Tidy up the house of God at the conclusion of worship services

Prior Preparation
-Spiritual Preparation: Pray for a heart of love for people, a sincere attitude, a courteous demeanor, a heart of reverence, and, most importantly, God’s guidance and direction.
-Physical Preparation: Make sure to get enough rest the night before your ushering duties. Ushers need energy and stamina to welcome the congregation properly and provide for any needs that they may have.
* Preparation of one’s appearance: Because ushers give the first impression to people about our church, dress and groom yourself accordingly to serve God and represent the church.

At Church
-Arrive 30-45 minutes prior to the first service.
-Unlock the gates and doors to the church.
-Wear the usher badge.
-If applicable, set up and test audio/visual equipment (microphones, speakers, projector/slides).
-If your church has a nursery, check to make sure the trash cans are empty and there are enough supplies (tissues, paper towels, baby wipes, etc.).

Preparation on the Hour
-Ensure that the lobby, the restrooms, and the chapel are clean, orderly, and presentable.
-Turn on the chapel lights, check the temperature, and make sure the sound system is ready for worship services.
-Make sure there are enough Bibles, hymn books, publications, and visitor welcome kits readily available.

As People Begin to Arrive for Service
-Greet members and visitors with a smile, addressing them by name (if possible) and shaking their hands. If necessary, ushers should hand out or direct members to Bibles and hymn books, hearing aids, and church bulletins, handouts, or publications.
-If new visitors arrive at church, ushers should guide them to the reception desk to fill out a visitor welcome card, provide them with a welcome kit, and give them a prayer card. If the visitor came to church by himself/herself, arrange for a brother/sister to sit with him/her.
-Ushers are also responsible for ensuring members and visitors are seated politely, courteously, and in an orderly manner. Members may not need as much direction regarding where to sit. Set up portable chairs if the pews are filled.
-As people arrive and service begins, keep a watchful eye on people who seem suspicious. Also, periodically check outside the building for anyone loitering on or near the church premises.
-Update the Service Record Book (sermon title, hymn numbers, speaker, interpreter, and attendance during the final prayer session).

At the Conclusion of the Service
-Give visitor cards and other pertinent information to the minister or appropriate church council member. This should be done before announcements are made.
-Scan the aisles, pews, floor area under the pews, pulpit area, and windowsills for loose items. Items left behind should be placed in the lost and found. Bibles, hymn books, and other church materials should be returned to the bookshelf. Note: If this is done at the end of the Sabbath, a cleaning team may already be assigned to do this.
-Make sure the lobby, restrooms, and nursery are presentable throughout the day and have been thoroughly cleaned at the end of the Sabbath.
-Ensure that visitors are accompanied during lunch and/or breaks, and have someone to speak with if they have questions.
-Provide literary materials to people on request.
-Clean up portable chairs.

After Completing Your Ushering Duties
-Make note of anything particular that occurred, such as new visitors, absentee members returning, etc.
-Contact the ushering team coordinator or the following week’s ushers to inform them of any special needs (e.g., restock visitor’s kits, periodicals, etc.).

Additional Pointers
In all circumstances, be prepared to handle any emergency that may arise. Keep your eyes and ears open for sights and sounds that indicate an emergency is at hand. H an emergency, there are some things you can prepare for:
* Be prepared to act
* Know emergency telephone numbers (police, fire, ambulance)
* Know the location of telephones, fire extinguishers, and first-aid kits
* Be calm. Ushers must remain calm in order to respond to emergencies quickly and appropriately.

The above article, “How to Usher” was written by Jerry Wyu. The article was excerpted from Manna magazine.

The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.

This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes,
“Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”

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The People Business

THE PEOPLE BUSINESS
BY THE HOME MISSIONS DIVISION, UPCI

How Would Your Church Rate? A Lincoln, Nebraska church paper recorded the research of a lady who visited 18 churches on successive Sundays.

To evaluate the friendliness of each church, the researcher sat near the front of the sanctuary each time and walked slowly to the rear, then returned to the front using another aisle. On each occasion, she was dressed neatly, and with a smile asked at least one person to direct her to the social hall, pastor’s study, etc. She used the following point scale to rate the reception she received:

10 pts. smile from a worshipper
10 pts. greeting from nearby person
100 pts. exchange of names
200 pts. invitation to coffee or dinner
200 pts. invitation to return
1000 pts. introduction to another worshipper
2000 pts. invitation to meet the pastor

On this scale, all of the 18 churches visited earned fewer than 100 points. The researcher’s conclusion is as follows: “The preaching may be Biblical, the singing inspirational or the sermon uplifting, but when a visitor finds no one who cares whether he/she is there, he/she is not likely to come back.”

Read that conclusion again. Let the truth of it sink in. People in our community and our area usually enter the church building because of some spiritual need. However, it is vital that the particular person or family visiting feel welcome and wanted in the place of worship. Where they find common ground and fellowship, they should find a welcome.

How well would your church do on such a rating? Would its faith and love be expressed through friendliness?

The Church is in the People Business: Building something into the lives of people is the fundamental responsibility of the church and ministry. Each church, and minister, should build its “concept of ministry”
around meeting the real needs of real people. All ministers and leaders should be continually developing their people skills. Why? Because people are souls, because souls are eternal, and because the church is
in the people business.

We allow many things to occupy our time: buildings, grounds, vehicles, computers, musical instruments, organization, administration… Yet these things, though necessary responsibilities of the ministry, are not the business of the church. The primary business of the church is people. And, by the way, people are God’s primary business, too. When He returns to the earth to take with Him that which He considers to be precious, buildings, buses, and computers will not he going up in the rapture. The only thing that God is going to take up in tile rapture of the church is people!

Anyone dealing with the public is in the people business!

The successful restaurateur knows that he is not in the food business–he’s in the people business.

The successful clothier knows that he is not in the clothing business–he’s in the people business.

The successful church pastor knows that he is not in tile building, music, preaching, or organizing business-he is in the people business.

Real Success: It has often been said, Success is the ability to get along with people.”

All things being equal, the main difference between a successful and unsuccessful business is usually the difference in how each treats its customers. John D. Rockefeller said, “I will pay more for the ability to get along with people than any other ability.

It is a matter of fact in the business world Customers will return to a business where they are treated well. They will not return to do business with a company or store where they were not treated well. The same applies to the church. Guests will return to a church where they are treated well, but they will not return if they were not received warmly.

To better illustrate this point, I will share some statistics with you that I recently ran across. When the question was asked, “Why Do Customers Quit?”

1% Die

3% Move Away

5% Other Friendships

9% Competitive Reasons (product cost)

14% Product Dissatisfaction

68% Because of Attitude of Indifference!

The number one reason why customers quit is the employee and business do not communicate care for the customer. That is powerful, in relation to the responsibility of the church to its guests. I wonder how many
first time guests never come back because they felt an attitude of Indifference in the Church!!!

Successful businesses operate by the concept, The Customer Is Number One. We have all done business with a company that had an employee who made US not want to return to their store, company or business. There was nothing wrong with the business, their location, their decorations, even their prices. It was a rude or indifferent employee that caused you to quit doing business with them. Rule number one in business is: If we don’t take care of our customer, somebody else will!

According to a Cambridge survey of 1500 Americans:

1 in 4 customers are upset enough by poor service to stop doing business with the company who provided the poor service.

83% of 1000 respondents say they will not return to a restaurant if they get poor service.

Why Do New People Initially Visit a Church? Elmer Townes, President of Church Growth Institute and producer of the very effective Sunday School promotion entitled Friend Day, researched the question, ‘Why do new people initially visit a church?” Their findings are very important to any church that is interested in reaching new people.

86% of first-time visitors attend a church because a Friend, Relative, an Acquaintance, or Neighbor invited them. The acronym F.R.A.N. is used to help you remember the importance of this group.

Equally important to this study are the things that are of little or no importance to a first-time guest. They found that guests do not initially visit a church because of …

Denominational affiliation.
Neighborhood church.
Church doctrine.

Why Do Guests Return for the Second Visit? We have researched the question, ‘Why do guests return for the second visit?’ We have found the following:

The number one factor in a guest returning for a second visit is directly connected to how they were treated on their first visit.

The second contributing factor is the continued influence of F.R.A.N.

The third factor is that on their initial visit to the church, they had some level of experience with God that touched their life (i.e. Healing, repentance, salvation, worship, etc.).

Why Do Guests Remain with a Church? Net Results magazine published an article in 1997 entitled, ‘Why Do Visitors Remain With A Church?” In this article they listed the top thirteen (13) reasons why guests will
choose to make a church “their church.” I am listing them for you in order:

Helpful services
Relate to minister
Friendly people
Theology
Live nearby
Church programs
Follow-up
Children’s ministry
Small Groups
Facilities
Service schedule Church size
Denomination

Sanctuary Manners: The “10 Commandments of Sanctuary Manners” are

Don’t hog the end of the row
Don’t fight for your regular seat.
Don’t stare at new people when they walk in.
Smile at and greet everyone you meet.
Introduce yourself as soon as possible.
Offer assistance.
Share your Bible.
Compliment the guest.
Take time to get acquainted after service.
Be sensitive to the spiritual needs of the guest.

I’m A Nice Stranger: “I never complain; I never create a scene. When I go to church, I never offer an objection if the usher leads me down a long aisle to a bad seat because all the members of the church have the best seats. No, I just take my assigned seat. I’m a nice visitor.

I never growl when I have to push by and walk over the feet of selfish church members who take the aisle seats and would not move out of their favorite places if it meant the salvation of a soul. No, I just sit down meekly. I am the ideal church stranger.

I never reprimand young people who sit close to me talking chewing gum and giggling. I’m too polite for that.

At the close of the service, as I walk toward the door, I never make a scene if no one speaks to me or shakes my hand. No, they gather in their little cliques and don’t bother me. I’m a nice visitor to the church.

I’ll tell you what else I am. I’m the stranger who never comes back. That’s my little revenge for not being welcome. I know when I’m not wanted. I can sense when the church members are cliquish and unfriendly. I can tell when they lack interest in the spiritual welfare of the visitors. I, of course, am too nice to say anything. I just go to some other more hospitable, friendly and spiritual church, or I don’t go to church at all.

I wouldn’t make a complaint. I’m a nice visitor. I just don’t go back. And there are millions of us who can be reached by a little hospitality and warmth.”

The important question is: Are you just a nice complacent church member, or are you genuinely concerned about the spiritual condition of a stranger?”

THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY RESOURCES, PAGES 19, 20. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.

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The Bride’s Invitation

THE BRIDE’S INVITATION
BY JIM JOHNSON

Have you ever received a wedding invitation that was nothing more than a piece of a brown paper sack with scribbled words? No! Well, I am not surprised, for there is no bride who would invite anyone to the most important social event of her life in such a manner. If you did receive such an invitation, would you go to the wedding? Probably not. These reflections underscore two aspects of wedding preparation: first of all, the invitation is a bride’s concern and secondly, the invitation is an indication of the wedding.

In relationship to the spiritual, are we, the bride of Christ, concerning ourselves with the invitation? If so, what kind of invitation are we sending out?

In Revelation 22 the Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” God’s Spirit is calling and wooing souls to partake of eternal life.  God’ church is to assist God in this important task. We are to concern ourselves with inviting the thirsty to drink of the water of life. God has so ordained the church.

As we concern ourselves with the invitation, we must tee into consideration that an invitation indicates the celebration that follows. What kind of an invitation are we giving? Is it indicative of a glorious salvation, an awesome Rapture, and eternal bliss with Christ in glory?

Everything about the church is an invitation for everyone to come to the Lord and is indicative of the Lord, salvation, Christian life, and eternity in glory. Therefore we should be very conscientious about the way we present ourselves to the world, aware that the invitation of the bride, the church, is multifaceted, involving our sanctuaries, our services, and our saints.

As an experiment, drive to a church in town and look at its landscaping, sign, and structure. How is its appeal? Does it say, “Come in” or “Go somewhere else”? Now try to envision what a person might think as he drives by your church, and make the necessary adjustments to your church property. Every evangelistic church should have a well-manicured landscape, an appealing and identifying sign, and a well-maintained and attractive facility. In my early ministry, I spent some time with the late J. H. Yohe. The first thing he did when we arrived at a church was to check the restroom. He said many people will never come back to a church with an unkempt, unstacked rest room. He was concerned about the bride’s invitation.

Our services should be positively compelling to the world. Parking lot attendants should greet and direct guests. Well-groomed greeters should greet everyone with a smile. When the service starts, we should consider that in a “sound bite” world we should be conscientious of time. There should be a sense of order orchestrated by the Holy Ghost, and we should eliminate dead time. Songs should be sung by those who have prepared and prayed. Sermons should be well studied and delivered with anointing. And when the invitation to prayer is given, the church family should prayerfully assist the preacher in his task of pulling souls from the pit, a job description someone once gave the pulpit. One simple way to do so, is for a church member to gently ask a guest if he or she would like to go forward to pray together.

Each Christian should present himself in a well groomed and godly manner at all times and should be friendly. And finally, every Christian should invite others to the house of God, where they will be exposed to the Word of God and the Spirit of the Lord. Many people would come to church if they were only invited.

Simply put, should Anheuser Busch package and market its product better than the church does? Salvation is much better than a bottle of beer, and the Christian life is much greater than the life of an alcoholic. Beer companies send out brightly colored beer trucks displaying six-packs glistening on ice–to parade their product of despair. Should not the church send out a glorious, beautiful, and elegant invitation to the souls of people to entice them to drink the water of life?

Brother Johnson is assistant pastor at United Pentecostal Church in Durham, North Carolina, where Johnny Godair is pastor.

THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY FORWARD, WINTER 1999, PAGE 5. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.

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Getting a Greeter Program Started

GETTING A GREETER PROGRAM STARTED
By: Carolyn Copeland

Four years ago, when I accepted the challenge of evangelism chairperson for our church, I discovered that, for many years, little had been accomplished in evangelism. No recorded history was available to tell who had served on past evangelism committees or what they had done. I felt as if I had wandered into a wasteland rather than a “fertile vineyard.”

Evangelism, especially the evangelism committee, seemed to strike terror in the hearts of fellow members who were asked to serve. I finally decided we needed to help our congregation overcome their f ear of evangelism.

The Sunday morning greeter program was one of the first programs our pastor and I developed. The way our church is situated, persons who enter the church building from the parking lot have to go through the education wing (or fellowship hall) and make a 45-degree turn down a narrow hallway to the sanctuary. Visitors probably wonder, Where am I going?

The greeter program was initiated to help direct visitors, but it also became a blessing to the entire congregation. This ministry was announced in the church newsletter as one in which everyone could participate. We mainly sought adult greeters, although we allowed children to greet with their parents. Youth classes occasionally made greeting a class project.

Enlisting Greeters

Enlisting greeters was no easy task at first. I started calling people as they were listed in the church directory and asked if they would greet during certain months. I did this at least two weeks before the first
Sunday of each month. If people were reluctant to commit for a whole month, I asked if they would be willing to greet for one Sunday in the month; and since we have two services, I asked if they preferred early or late service and which location–education wing or foyer. The four greeters needed each Sunday sometimes were singles, couples, or whole families.

Sunday afternoon was a good time to telephone people because they had just returned from church and were more receptive. I never insisted a member take a turn. I asked those who declined if I could call them another time. Some said flatly, “It’s not my thing!” Others said, “Not now. Call me later.” I enjoyed talking to those who said, “Yes, we’ll be glad to serve. Put us down for the whole month.” People occasionally told me how much they enjoyed the experience. That was music to my ears. I made a mental note of those members.

I jotted notes beside the names of people who asked to be called later as well as those who refused (some people work on Sundays or have other reasons for not serving). I soon learned who in our 250-member congregation would help with the greeter program.

Reminding Greeters

I gave written reminders to the greeters a week before they were to serve. I either gave the reminders to them in church on the Sunday prior to their service or mailed the reminders the Monday preceding. The reminders included where and when the greeters promised to serve and special instructions, when needed. After members had served one or more times, I replaced the notices with phone calls. Only new greeters received written notes containing special instructions. The evangelism committee sent thank-you notes to greeters after they served.

I kept a greeter chart at home and at church, which made the second year easier. I was then able to say, “You greeted last (name of month). Can I count on you to greet again in (name of month)?” Most greeters volunteered for a whole month the second year; in fact, many of them eventually began signing the greeter chart voluntarily. Greeting became a pleasure rather than a chore for many of the greeters.

Members attended more faithfully during the months they greeted. Most were there every Sunday. The “greeter coordinators, however, always must be prepared to substitute.

I only had to solicit greeters occasionally. Greeters-needed notices were included regularly in the Sunday bulletins and monthly newsletters.

Instructing Greeters

Our requirements for greeters were pretty sketchy the first year. We asked them to smile, be friendly and helpful, and arrive 15-20 minutes before services started. They were asked to greet everyone who came into the church-whether with a handshake or just a smile and a pleasant “good morning.” We also asked them to direct visitors and have them sign the guest book.

Greeters are urged to learn one new name each Sunday. If a greeter does not know a person, he asks, “Are you a member? I don’t believe I know your name. I’m (give your name).” If approached in this manner, most people will say whether they are members and give their names. Some members resent being asked if they are visitors when greeters simply don’t know them.

Our church became more friendly as members learned one another’s names. Greeters’ names were printed in the bulletins and newsletters and on their badges. Some greeters began telling members who were absent the previous week how much they were missed. This practice frequently uncovered family illnesses and other special needs, which were reported to the pastor.

Greeter programs usually are successful if greeter coordinators faithfully enlist greeters, remind them of their commitments, and thank them for serving. Remind greeters of Romans 15:7: “Welcome one another, therefore, as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God”(RSV).

Tip for Sunday Greeters

1. Dress appropriately. You represent your church, pastor, and Savior. Be well-groomed and look your best.

2. Arrive 20-30 minutes before the service. Do not lean against a doorway or table, and do not block traffic.

3. Wear your greeter badge. Your name is optional. The badge itself will let visitors know you can help them.

4. Tell the greeter coordinator in advance if you are unable to fulfill  your obligation.

5. Smile and offer your hand in greeting; however, do not force people to  shake hands. People with arthritic hands, for example, are reluctant to  have them squeezed.

6. Make people feel welcome. Help visitors, even if you must leave your  post to direct them to the rest rooms or church office.

7. Ask visitors to sign the guest book. Introduce them to other greeters  or church ushers when possible. Don’t overwhelm them by introducing  them to too many people.

8. Visit briefly with visitors when possible. Find out where they are  from. Perhaps they are visiting other church members, have recently  moved to the area, or are on a short-term visit.

9. Find out if visitors are familiar with the order of worship. If not,  ask them to sit with members who can help them.

10. Don’t carry on lengthy conversations with friends so that you neglect  visitors.

11. Give information packets to first-time visitors. The packet may contain  a newsletter and brochure. Be sure the packet includes the church’s  name, address, phone number, pastor’s name, worship times, and
emergency telephone number.

12. Project your church’s friendliness to visitors. Remember that your work  is important-that you are serving the Lord and performing evangelism  for His kingdom.

(The above material appeared in the July/Aug./Sept. 1992 issue of Growing Churches Magazine.)

Christian Information Network

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