BIG DAY – Treat Guests Like Guests. Be Kind. Be Friendly. Be Welcoming. Be Nice. Be Helpful. Be Glad the Guests Are Here.

You walk into a room, and in the corner is a crowd of teens stealing looks at you and talking in hushed tones. Three of four of them look your way and break out laughing, trying to hold back, but not trying very hard. Awkward.

The banner of Christianity is to love God and love others, yet our tendency is to love ourselves and not care about others. It is not that we hate other people, we just have a hard time actively loving them.

In a church setting, or when you are hosting an event like the Preaching Rally, one area to consider is hospitality. We originally designated a team for hospitality and desired that they greet every guest who came to our Preaching Rally. Since our first few years, our church has done well with greeting each guest and trying to make them feel welcomed.

Our “excuse” for greeting and welcoming each guest is that we hand them the booklets, bookmarks and pens that they will be using throughout the day. This gives our greeters something to say and do, and it keeps the guests from being overwhelmed by too many greeters saying all the same things to them.

My philosophy is that I would rather have people turned off by over-friendly hosts, rather than under-friendly (rude) hosts.


Our First Preaching Rally

Our first year, because we were not sure how it would turn out, we encouraged our church members to come and be a part of the greeting team. The main adults worked with the registration team to see our pictures on file of the guest youth directors, so they could greet them by name as they were approaching the church. We stationed parking attendants as greeters, so that our first impression from a human was a friendly one!


Greeter Goals

Mainly, we want our greeters to be kind. Be friendly. Be welcoming. Be nice. Be helpful. Be glad the guests are here.

Years ago, I read a book that made the distinction between guests and visitors. We were encouraged to refer to people new to our church as guests, and treat them as we would a guest in our home. We want guests to feel comfortable, be at home, and feel like part of the family. Conversely, visitors to our home are not treated with the same warmth. Maybe it is “Elder Solomon” who visits your home, or a representative from the local solar company. I don’t know about you, but I am not as cordial to visitors as I am to guests in my home.

When guests arrive for our Preaching Rally, I want our greeters to light up their faces and be glad our guests are here. I want our greeters to sincerely be appreciative that these churches would drive all that way to be with us. No cheesy smiles. No fake greetings. No talking with your fellow greeters. No looking at the ground while greeting.

Greeters ought to treat guests like… well… guests!

At your next Big Day, consider the role that greeters might play, and work to shift their mindset from greeting visitors to welcoming guests.