Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Welcome Ministries Series - Part 2

The second saga in my blogs about "First Impressions", or in our case, Welcome Ministries.

I read a great post yesterday from this guy on leadership. If you want to read the whole post, you can go here. The quote that I want to talk about, that I think applies to Welcome Ministries, is this quote that someone told him a few years ago:

"Until you get your focus OFF of the people who are disgruntled, unhappy, unsupportive, and resistant to the direction God has called you to go, and ONTO those who are excited, supportive and on board, you will NEVER gain momentum and see a new culture created in your church."

I realize that this is a quote specifically about leadership and those within our church family, but let me make the bridge for you. I think that sometimes in Welcome Ministries, we get so focused on attending to the needs of the few that are most needy, that we miss the needs of the silent majority.

Our Welcome Ministries does a really great job of welcoming people right where they are at. Loving them, inviting them in, and making them feel at home. I believe that a lot of the people that return to our church (besides the great message and worship) is because of the way Welcome Ministries as loved them into our family.

Yet, the fact still remains that the Welcome Ministries are busy. The people that are able to break into their routine are those who are the loudest, which is typically those who are already regular attenders. Why? It is the regular attenders who know the routine, knows where the coffee should be, knows where the CD's are, knows where there seats are, etc.

SideBar- Before you start sending comments that I think our congregation is needy, let me clarify. First, I don't think that is the fact, I think we have an awesome congregation. Second, what I AM saying is that it is very difficult for a guest to be needy (for the little things) or to verbally express specific problems, when they typically don't know how our church functions. Does that help?

I just wonder many first time guests do we miss when we are focused on the one?

I don't know the answer, nor the method to find out. I do know this:

Welcome Ministries is the first line of people that our guests see/meet for the first time. It is important, I think, that our focus be on welcoming, loving and caring for them as the walk through the door. We cannot effectively do that if we are busy with the "little things".

I need your help.

How can we develop a program for continuing to meet the needs of our congregation and still be freed up to welcome our new guests with all of our attention?

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