Within the first three minutes after a guest or visitor has entered into our parking lots they have already decided whether they like the church or not, whether they will return or not.
The pastor hasn’t even had a chance to say hello.
First impressions matter. First impressions absolutely matter.
Few ministries are as important as greeters. The greeters set the tone for those visiting our congregations. Greeters of the first face guests encounter. Greeters are the first impression guests have of the welcome and grace of Jesus Christ.
I share the story Nicky Gumbel (the Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton, and the founder of Alpha) about the important role greeters play.
Aged thirty-three, Barbara Claphane came to live in London. She decided she was going to look for a church. One Sunday morning, she arrived at HTB. The young woman who was welcoming people at the door smiled at her and asked her name. Because of that smile, Barbara came back the following week. When she walked in the next Sunday the same person said, “Hello Barbara!”
Because the person on the door remembered her name, she decided that she was going to come back every Sunday. That was in 1947. From then on Barbara came almost every Sunday until she died, soon after celebrating her 100th birthday. She made a huge impact on the life of HTB (including running the finances of the church for many years). I wonder whether the young woman on the door had any idea of the difference she made by remembering Barbara’s name.
Greeters, you are the first impression people will have of the welcoming face of Christ. Thank you for your amazing ministry!