We know how this works. It happens in business, in social settings, and certainly at church. It isn’t likely that you will be given a mulligan with first impressions, so you want to make the best first impression possible, right?
At Wieuca, our greeters work very hard to make sure a guest meets a person before encountering a door. Smiling faces, personable approaches, and helpful instructions are the tools of the trade for the men and women who are stationed around our campus. But once you get past our front line, there are other opportunities in Covenant Groups, the children and youth areas, in worship, and just in the hallways.
If you see someone you don’t recognize, do something about it! We have had long time members asked if they were guests. I would rather mistakes be made like that than for people to pass by each other without speaking.
Put yourself in the place of a first-time guest in our sanctuary. What do you see? What do you notice first? Are you looking for a seat or are you looking for someone like you? Are you inspired by the size and beauty of the room or are you wondering why there are not more people present? As the service time nears, do you take note of how close people sit together or are you puzzled by how spread out the worshipers seem to be? Would you rather be left alone because you are new and a bit uncomfortable or are you yearning for some human contact? Are you sitting alone or has someone offered to sit with you? Are you willing to share some personal information on a connection card or would you rather stay anonymous? During the fellowship time, are you frozen in place because you’re not sure what to do next or are you surprised by how many people want to speak to you? During the service, do you feel engaged in the worship experience or are you more likely to be a spectator? When the service concludes, do you linger to meet staff or members or do you find the nearest exit quickly?
There are more considerations certainly, but try this exercise. Put yourself in the place of a guest as you encounter new people at Wieuca. We find that guests differ about their expectations and preferences. Not everyone will respond or react the same. Being focused on each person requires a sensitivity that goes beyond a strategy. We want the first impression to lead to good second, third, and beyond impressions!
One week into our season of prayer, please pray for our day together on Sunday. Come to a Covenant Group for Bible study, then join members and guests in the Peachtree Room for worship at 11:00. You still have time – invite a friend!