A church that is healthy, Bible-believing, and Christ-honoring will attract guests, and weekly we have many guests who visit. That is part of why we are growing so much. I don’t know if you have noticed or not, but on Sunday mornings, besides teaching the Word, my “job one” or focus is to look for, greet and get to know our guests. This is one of the most enjoyable things I get to do. I love to hear the stories of why people were willing to take the risk to visit a church for the first time ever, or at least in a long time. These are the folks I want to reach. Sometimes visitors are new to the area and once in a while someone has been deeply hurt by a church and is looking for a healthy place. It is so much fun to hear the stories of how folks have sensed God is leading them to our church. God still guides and directs people, often in miraculous ways. The question is… will we truly welcome our guests and be great hosts? Will we be hospitable as the Bible commands (1 Peter 4:9; Romans 12:13)?
Helping Guests Find Their Way
It takes a lot of courage to come to a large church like ours. Our size, while it has many advantages, can be intimidating. Yes, we have a level of quality and excellence that is hard to find. We have so many groups, classes, events, and programs that meet so many needs. We have an abundance of opportunities to serve and make a difference. We are a place where folks can find a place to belong and get help as they journey toward or deepen their walk with Jesus. But, how does a new person feel welcomed and stick around long enough to discover all the good we have?
20 years ago, one of the world’s greatest experts on the customer experience found that a company like a hotel had 30 seconds to make a good impression or the client would be disappointed. Today, that expert says the time has shrunk to 5 seconds… that’s crazy! Now, I haven’t found the research for a church, but the point is we have only a short time to make a good impression and usually only one chance to help someone feel welcome. Why do I care about that? Because I don’t want to, in any way, hinder a person who is finding God from being open to his Word when they come to visit. I don’t want anything to “shut them down” before the Holy Spirit can speak into their heart. I want us to do all we can do to help them find, follow and flourish as they follow Jesus. I want anyone who’s currently a part of Pantano and makes the effort to bring a guest to be proud of how their guest was treated.
New Parking Ministry
That’s why we are starting a new Parking Ministry. We have enough parking, but a visitor might not know our campus well enough to navigate finding those places. So, job one for our new parking lot servants is to help visitors find a place to park, lead them in the right direction and answer any questions they might have. We want this new service to help all people feel welcomed as well as direct them to find an open parking space.
Your Help is Needed
We always need more folks who will greet at the gates and entrances, usher folks to open seats in the auditorium and help out at our Guest Services kiosk. If you are willing to help in any of our Host Team positions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We especially need to find a few people who will develop and lead our new Parking Ministry. If God is nudging you, please take the next step and let us know you are open to talking about this. For all who make our church such a warm and welcoming place, I can’t thank you enough. THANK YOU!