I'm reviewing the book 27 Tough Questions Pastors Ask by Dick Hardy. For those of you that are in church work or considering work, you should buy this book. It is filled with practical insights from a pastoral perspective. Here are some of my favorite quotes from chapter 25.
It seems the church is very friendly with itself.
It happens because the church normally does not create enough waves of hospitality to engender a genuine lasting sense of welcome to newer people to the church. (170)
I suggest creating your first wave of hospitality on the parking lot. (170-171)
Parking Lot-Entrance Greeters
I recommend you place two people at each of your entrances to welcome all the cars.
This is a great place for high school or college age students to serve.
Car parkers take their ministry role seriously. One of the things you need to do is to make sure they remember "service" and not "boss-man-on-the-lot." (171)
...people want to park where they want to park.
It is recommended that the church provide special up-close parking for those potential new friends of the church. When appropriate, the car parker can briefly tell the guests about whatever hospirality expression the church has following the service, e.g., a place to met the pastor, a place to have some coffee or goodies, a place to mingle with leaders of the church, etc.
You will be amazed at how your folks and guest to your church will respond when they are greeted by someone before they expect it. (172)
Please note for churches with colder winter settings, providing an outside space heater for greeters makes it a whole lot easier to recruit for this important role.
...find ways to create hospitality outside the building. (173).