February 16, 2016

How To Really Welcome Guests

In 13 years of worshiping in different congregations every week, AugsburgFortress CEO Beth Lewis has seen “the good, the bad, and the very ugly” of church hospitality. In presentations hosted by the Synod and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Lewis offered a host of suggestions for congregations that want to enhance their hospitality, in hopes that participants would try two or three ideas in their local contexts. “If you don’t have a metric, a goal, something you’re aiming for, you’re never going to get there,” she said.

Lewis posed a number of questions for congregational leaders to ponder:

  • Why not partner with a local church to conduct hospitality audits for each other?
  • Does your voicemail give worship times and styles, nursery info and parking if someone calls Saturday night?
  • Does your sign display worship times and your website?
  • Do you think of “visitors” or “guests”? Guest has a higher level of warmth.
  • Are you on Yelp?
  • Have you invested time and money in a contemporary, up-t0-date website?

Watch the sessions (2 video playlist):