Creating a More Welcoming Church Atmosphere
Sometimes saying, “Welcome to our church family!” simply isn’t enough. It can be difficult when we try as a church to be welcoming without seeming overbearing. People attend worship services for a variety of reasons, and everyone worships differently. Some enjoy shaking hands and getting to know a bunch of new people at once, while others like to remain more anonymous during a worship service. The key to maximizing the welcoming potential of your church is to know how to approach different types of people.
Of course, being friendly is crucial to creating a welcoming atmosphere. Breaking the social ice with a smile, hello, and brief introduction will put many at ease almost instantly. However, for those who are a bit on the shy side, making sure they know that there is no pressure on them to identify themselves or stand out from the crowd will often provide a significant sense of relief.
Another way to create a more welcoming atmosphere is to offer social events either before or after worship. These gatherings are a great way for visitors to get to know church members and regulars, allowing them to operate in a low-pressure social situation. Here, it is imperative that church leaders, as well as the pastor, are able to make their presence known, if possible, providing that social bridge to those who may be stepping foot inside of their church for the first time.
Finally, often the best way to make someone feel welcome at your church is by making yourself available to them. Exchanging contact information is a great way to shepherd visitors into the life of the church. Alternatively, you can invite them to a meal or out for coffee to discuss worship, their faith, and life in general. Making one friend within a church setting is the simplest, most human way of welcoming someone into the life of the church.