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Mind Blowing Facts to Fuel Our Hospitality

We will have more guests in one year than you think.  “Information gathering” in churches doesn’t even capture the majority of guests.  Research shows that five to eight percent of our worshiping community will self-identify as guests.

When a first time guest arrives, they will decide within 11 minutes whether or not they are coming back.

Harbourview Church Esquimalt BC

Following Jesus by Serving Our Community

Many guests are going through situations that make them more responsive to God.  These are the folks that are most likely to be moving, changing jobs, getting divorced, having kids, etc.

Guests are assessing very quickly whether or not they are coming back.  This happens much faster than you would think. When a first time guest arrives, they will decide within 11 minutes whether or not they are coming back.

Yes, the decision is made before they experience worship and the content of the sermon; the two elements that demand most, if not all, of our time and attention in preparation.

What would it look like if we extended the same level of intention to the 11 minutes prior to walking in the worship service?  Maybe the better question is “What would it feel like for our guests?” 

It’s hard to overstate the wow factor a church body creates by serve generously through a system of hospitality. Guests represent step one of accomplishing the Great Commission, these are the people coming to us!

A guest who is attending may represent years of prayer, service and invitation by a church member.  Studies show that guests will talk about their initial experiences 8-15 times with other people. Serve guests well and we multiply our message.

Building a great ministry to guests nourishes a culture of hospitality because of the concrete reminders to the entire congregation that guests matter. After all we are commanded in Scripture to be hospitable. The Greek word philoxenia literally means to “love strangers” and is used in Romans 12:13 and Hebrews 12:3.

Our Greeting

In the New Testament the Greek word (aspazomai) for greet is to enfold in the arms.  i.e. (by implication) to salute, (figurative) to welcome. It is used over 40 times in the New Testament.  It expresses the heart of the greeting.

Folks who come to our gatherings are guests not visitors.

We know first impressions are lasting ones.  We want to give a great first impression by welcoming our guests in friendly and helpful manner. Everyone should greet guests with a smile and a hand shake.   Folks who come to our gatherings are guests not visitors.  A visitor is just passing through; a guest is like a favorite family member you want to make at home.

Show guests to seats next to people that they might relate to. Family with family, singles by other singles etc.  If you know this is their first time with us, introduce them to members that they will be seated alongside, to break the ice.

Be prepared to helpful. Things to know:

  1. Service times
  2. Location of Kids Ministry Rooms, Information table, restrooms, and basic church information.
  3. Know the names of church leaders.
  4. Current announcements and upcoming events (read the monthly bully before greeting).
  5. Website info, guest cards and offering box location.