Welcoming visitors effectively to church on Christmas Eve takes a good deal of forethought and a multi-faceted approach. Here’s our list to help you!
During the holidays more visitors come through the doors of the church than any other time of the year. It’s a great opportunity to welcome them with greater intention.
We’ve put together a list of five easy ways to help newcomers feel cared for and acknowledged.
We hope our ideas help to create a culture of welcome and hospitality within your community this season and throughout the year.
How are you welcoming newcomers this Christmas Eve? Tell us in the comments below!
Have name tags. On a table near the entrance to the sanctuary, set out name tags and markers. Calling each other by name creates a sense of community and belonging. This helps visitors as well as those who’ve been in the pew for decades.
Make clear what your church stands for. Put in writing what your mission statement is and how your church includes the marginalized. This is important in order for all of us to feel safe and know if we’re a part of the faith family.
Say hello, Pastor. If a personal greeting from the pastor isn’t possible, create a team of leaders who keep an eye out for those who are new. Don’t assume it’s someone’s first time; it might not be. If you say something to indicate you think it’s their first time when it isn’t, things get awkward for you and them. Say hello, tell them you’re happy to see them.
Have quality refreshments. This goes for any worship service, in my opinion. If you have yummy stuff out, make it good. Most people have become familiar with boutique coffee and high-quality bakes. So, throw out the coffee in a giant can that goes beyond earthiness into muddiness. Also, offer tasty allergy-free options, too.
Additionally, think of families who would rather not have their kid on their way down from a sugar high as they drive home. Perhaps put out some festive cranberry granola instead of sugar cookies, for example.
Provide information for biblical passages. When reading scripture, describe where the text is located in the Bible. Additionally, give context for the passage. Consequently, people are more likely to feel there isn’t insider knowledge they don’t have. This is helpful for all of us, whether newcomers or long-time members.
Leaders, introduce yourselves up front. Have those who are up front speaking in any capacity give their name and role in the church. Do this whether the person is giving announcements, singing, or preaching. This helps visitors get to know who’s who. And it makes getting involved easier for them, too.
Hospitality as Community Culture
Welcoming visitors to church is more than checking boxes. Hospitality is for all of us. When we live out our faith through care with intention, we actually help those who are already regular attendees feel more connected, too.
Furthermore, we communicate our common humanity, our personhood as individuals, and worthiness as children of Creation. We hope you discover ways to welcome visitors to church this Christmas Eve as an expression of your unique faith community and continue them the whole year through.
Do you have more ideas? How are you welcoming visitors this Christmas Eve? Don’t forget to share with us in the comments!