Effectively Welcoming Visitors

Kevin Hendricks, founder of Monkey Outta Nowhere and author of Addition by Adoption: Kids, Causes and 140 Characters (2010), recently wrote a post for Church Marketing Sucks entitled “Making Visitors Feel Welcome (But Not Too Welcome)”.  In the article he reflects on the topic in light of his reflections after hearing Anne Lamott read from her latest book and talk about her own experience.  Recognizing a one-size-fits-all approach is ineffective, Hendricks suggests those involved in your congregation’s welcome ministry must be “really good with people” and able to customize their approach accordingly:

Too eager in your welcome and you’ll chase someone like Lamott away. But if you give space to someone eager to get involved, you come across as cold and aloof. It’s a fine balance and there’s surprisingly little grace.

So What?

Helping newcomers feel welcome, especially on the occasion of their first visit, is a goal to which every congregation should aspire.  How does your parish seek to do so?  How good of a job do you feel is being done presently?  How is feedback from actual visitors incorporated into how those within the welcome/greeting ministry function?

For more on this topic, consider reading some of my thoughts on truly welcoming visitors.


  1. […]  His writing has been featured here on So What Faith on multiple occasions, including “Effectively Welcoming Visitors” and “Baptist Dance Party Goes […]

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