One of my daughter’s friends comes to our house so much that we often tell her, “you aren’t a guest anymore…you’re part of the family!” Sunday School is about helping guests become family as quickly as possible. Consider these suggestions:
1. Expect Guests to Be Present
When guests arrive, they should not observe a mad scramble for an extra chair, a copy of the literature, or a pen and registration card. Lack of expectation communicates to the guest that they are an inconvenience or disruption. Preparation says, “we were hoping you would come.”
2. Use Name Tags for Everybody
Make guest and group member name tags look alike. If you re-use member name tags, have each person handwrite their own name card into a clip-on cover so that you can easily create a similar one for guests.
3. Leave Good Seats Available
Guests should be able to find a place in the midst of the group…not set apart and not on the front row!
4. Have Group Members Introduce Guests
For many people, introducing themselves to a group is terrifying. Train group members to learn the names and something about the guest who sits beside them and make the introductions.
5. Don’t Abandon Guests After Group Time
Make sure guests know how to find their children or their way to the worship center. Invite them to sit with you for worship. Offering to share a meal with them is always a great way to help people feel at home.
David Bond is a Sunday School/Small Group consultant at the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.
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