As most of you know, Easter is a busy time for first-time guests in the local church. The hope is that in the coming weeks these guests will return and connect in a LIFE Group. For some people, visiting new groups is difficult. As leaders, we want to be sure our first-time guests feel welcomed into biblical community. Creating a warm and welcoming environment in our LIFE Groups isn’t difficult, but it does require intentionality.
Here are three suggestions to make sure your first-time guests have an excellent experience in your group:
- Greet them as they come in the door.
This seems like a no-brainer and it really is, but you’d be surprised how easy it is in larger groups for a guest to come in and remain unnoticed. Ideally, your group will have a greeter at the door and he or she will recognize new faces and introduce them to other group members. While most people don’t like to be put on the spot and asked to introduce themselves to the class, all people do long to be acknowledged and spoken to.
- Wear nametags.
Coming into a new group setting and not knowing everyone’s names can be overwhelming. Wearing nametags makes it much easier for newcomers to get to know other group members. It also communicates that your group anticipates first-time guests. If your group doesn’t have nametags, please let the Adult Ministry staff know, and we will be glad to have those made for you.
- Follow up.
After first-time guests attend your LIFE Group, it is ideal to follow up within 48 hours by email, text, or phone call. The goal is just to touch base and let the guests know you are glad they came to your group and invite them back. Following up with guests only takes a couple of minutes and has a significant impact on whether they will return or not.
It’s difficult to overestimate the significance of hospitality in LIFE Groups. There is no doubt that guests visit LIFE Groups with the hope of getting connected to an active community of believers. Extending great hospitality is a crucial part of this process. Let’s do everything we can to make that happen.