By Danny Franks
The greeters at your church have a tremendously important job this weekend. Those greeters who serve on the sidewalk, at the doors that lead from the outside to the lobby, and from the lobby to the auditorium will likely encounter many Easter guests.
So if you lead these volunteers or you’re one of these volunteers yourself: what do you actually do?
These volunteers are likely to feel the most awkward about what you’re doing. When I say sidewalk, I’m referring to any greeter standing outside that isn’t a member of your church’s parking team or holding a door. Let’s be honest: you’re just standing outside at random locations, talking to people as they walk by.
Obviously greeting those you know isn’t as much of a stretch. It’s watching for those that you don’t know or maybe don’t recognize. One key way that you can serve is by identifying first-time guests and helping transition them from guest parking to the first-time guest area. That interaction is a chance to have the first conversation with a guest and walk with them to the area.
The door holders from the sidewalk to the lobby signal the correct entrance. They make sure that guests know where to go. At most of our churches, the entry doors from the outside are either large, imposing wooden doors or heavily tinted glass doors. Either way, guests don’t always know what’s going to be waiting for them on the other side. I’ve attended churches where I swung open that wooden door and found myself immediately in the auditorium with a few dozen sets of eyeballs staring back at me.
That’s why this team gains maximum improvement with just 18 inches. That’s about what it takes for a volunteer to move from the inside of the building to the outside. That’s the difference between standing behind a door and standing in front of a door. That’s the gap between a guest’s scary unknown and a greeter’s friendly face.
It’s certainly not convenient for you as a volunteer. It means you have to serve in the cold, heat, rain, snow, and humidity. You’re giving up your comfort for the comfort of others. But when you can buy a guest’s comfort for the cost of 18 inches, I’d say that’s a pretty smart trade.
This is probably what you envision when you think about the role of ushers. But they’re more than ushers. They’re an extension of the guest services team. They have a variety of jobs. They hand out worship guides or ink pens. They work with the seating team leader to decide when the doors open and when they close. For an auditorium with multiple entry points, they help direct traffic to the areas with the most open seats.
During the service, the auditorium entry member can pull double duty by manning the doors from the inside of the auditorium, making sure that anyone who gets up to leave has assistance getting out.
Your greeters are an important part of the guest experience at your church. Think about your church’s layout and determine the best approach to help people get from outside to inside and inside to the auditorium for your Easter services.