Especially if there is not a schedule somewhere that says that part of what you’re supposed to be doing that week is welcoming people.
Last weekend we visited a church because my daughter had gone to VBS during the week and had a presentation during the Sunday morning service.
As we were listening to the pastor welcome us I noticed that there was a balcony and thought to myself “that is probably a great spot to be to take some pictures while all the cuteness is happening“. So I slipped out of my pew and headed back to find some stairs.
At the top of the stairs I found a closed door. While many people would assume a closed door meant that you shouldn’t be there, I decided to see if it was locked. Because if it’s not locked they must not want to keep people out too badly.
When the door opened I was greeted by the tech team running the sound and lights.
Except by “greeted” I mean given angry looks and hand gestures encouraging me to proceed back downstairs. There we no signs or ropes indicating that the balcony was only for the tech team (though if there were I still may have tried to get up there for some photos).
The actions of the folks hiding behind the unlocked door left me thinking. If I were visiting a church, saw that they had a balcony and thought I’d hide up there and check out the service and these people, would I stay and sit through the service after an angry sound guy greeted me?
I think that it’s great that many churches have teams for greeting and welcoming folks to our weekend services. But we need to remember that every volunteer has an impact on what someone attending your church for the first time thinks of your church.
So next weekend, whether you’er making coffee, rushing to get to the platform and grab your guitar or standing with a smile and a name tag, remember that how you interact with people can have an effect on what they think of your church and what they think of our God.