Super Ninja Greeters

First impressions are always important, even when first attending a church. We walk in an immediately start to add up points for and against the church. We want to know if this is a place for us. Honestly I know that I am even a bit judgemental about the first few people that come and say “hi.” If it seems like the prefunctory hello for a new person then I really don’t care that someone said”hi.” Yeah that sounds very callous, but I am not interested in a drive by ‘hi.’ Stop and talk and actually take some interest. Once in a while I have attended a new church where people have actually asked me to sit with them and not just said hello. Even rarer is the one or two churches where someone said, “Come on over for lunch.”

I ponder these questions since I was at a meeting for my church last night about greeting new people at the church. One couple had a very clear idea of a plan for greeting people. Now we need a plan butryu1.jpg to me it just seemed like an assembly line. Is that what the church needs? An assembly line of greeters at the door. I almost envisioned us in ninja suits attacking new people as they walked in. “We must make sure we shake all new peoples hands, and give them our statement of faith, and give them a tour.” Some of the reasons for a tour were legitimate. Parents attending for the first time would love to see the Sunday School area or the nursery, but their plan of attack seemed a bit over the top.

Now I think back to when I was looking for a church and remember that the first time I walked in I really didn’t want all of that information. I was evaluating the culture that was in the church to see if it fit what I was looking for. If it wasn’t I didn’t go back. If I felt like it was a great place then I wanted to know more. The second or third time is when I wanted to see a statement of faith and get an actual tour of the facility.

So what do you think? Have you been ‘attacked’ by greeters at a church? Should they have had matching black clad uniforms? Should we be super ninja greeters? Should we invite people out for lunch or coffee?

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~ by curtismchale on January 1, 2008.

6 Responses to “Super Ninja Greeters”

  1. Personally, I like to be fussed over when I am visiting, but that’s just me. You wouldn’t believe how many times we’ve visited a church only to be completely ignored. The greeter thing doesn’t really count to me though. I think it’s imperative that regular folks go out of their way to welcome you. Coffee after the service would be wonderful!! A time to hang out and ask questions, and then the next week you can put a name to at least a couple of faces. That kind of thing makes a big difference, to me at least.

  2. Missy:
    I too think that others, not just the designated greeter, need to talk to new people. Thanks for the alternate perspective.

  3. I’m a bit like you on that first time thing, i like to be left alone a bit, it’s a bit intimidating when people are suddenly all over you.

  4. let everything flow naturally

  5. One church I visited had the visitors sit in the pew while the congregation stood, walked around and greeted them. I felt too conspicuous and as I have an usual last name, many couldn’t handle it. Later, the minister told everyone to say hello to those around them and the woman in front of me turned, looked sour and said, “Hello whatever-your-name-is.” My perfect idea of a church is one where someone would come sit by me, point out what the church can offer me (appropriate Sunday School classes and other groups), and generally act like they like me.

  6. h22g:

    That sucks. I wouldn’t want to be centred out either. In our church we often get told to say hi to someone around you for us though it is often hard to get people to sit back in the seats as you end up talking to those near you. If it could work like that I suppose it is great.

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