This is the ninth post in a series about twenty methods on How Can I Grow My Sunday School Class Numerically?. The ninth method listed was this one:
Enlist and train class greeters to help guests have a great first impression (and to follow up on their time in class).
The original post was in response to Jesus’ command in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20, emphasis added) to “make disciples of ALL nations.”
Because first impressions are important, I have written several posts about class greeters (see below). A positive first impression can result in a second visit. Guests who return to Sunday School will be more likely to stick and join. Those fact elevates the importance of the job of the greeter.
I have been reading Rainer and Stetzer’s book, Transformational Church. Transformational churches are intentionally relational. This is not forced, but it is also not left to chance. Greeters lead the class to be intentionally relational. That means that more than the greeter should be interested and willing to invest in guests! Obviously some people are more naturally relational than others, and they are the best people to enlist as greeters. But with time and training, much of the responsibility of greeter can be learned.
One side note: class greeters should not be choir members who will need to leave the class quickly at the end of Sunday School. Also, while the teacher will want to greet all guests, the teacher should not serve as the class greeter.
- AT THE DOOR. A greeter in an adult or youth class should be genuinely excited to welcome every member and guest, taking even more time to get acquainted with guests. The greeter should be stationed at the door or roaming about the classroom. Conversation with members should be brief but caring, beyond a simple “good morning.” The greeter should have fresh breath, a warm smile, and a firm (but not too crushing) of a handshake. With guests, the greeter will want to focus listening skills, making mental or written notes. Initially, getting the name pronounced correctly is important. The greeter or the class secretary should also be sure to ask if the guest would like to be added to the class fellowship-ministry-prayer list (class roll).
- REGISTER. The greeter will want to collect contact information about the guest unless he/she was registered by the church welcome center who brought the guest to the room with completed registration card. In an ideal scenario, the class will wear name tags, and the guest will be asked to complete a name tag. This will help him/her and the class to learn each other’s names and use those names in conversation.
- ASSIST. Having helped the guest complete a registration card and name tag, the greeter will introduce the guest to the teacher and other members, calling them by name. During the time for announcements and prayer, the greeter will introduce the guest to the class (without embarrassing the guest). During class, the greeter will sit with the guest and share his/her Bible (if needed) and secure curriculum for the guest (even if that means offering the greeter’s copy). If the guest came with a friend to class, the greeter will skip the responsibilities in the next paragraph, allowing the friend to accompany the guest.
- GUIDE. At the end of class, the greeter should enable some additional quick introductions to class members. Then the greeter should assist the guest in finding children and restrooms (if needed) along with the sanctuary. (This enables the continuation of the relationship that began in Sunday School.) Along the way and before worship, the greeter will introduce the guest to people around them–without overwhelming the guest. At the end of worship, the guest will express enjoyment in having been in Sunday School and worship with the guest and assist the guest in locating children, restrooms, and his/her car as needed. Asking if the guest has any questions, may also be beneficial. An introduction to the pastor, if available, before exiting will be a nice step as well.
- FOLLOW UP. The final act by the greeter is to secure the guest’s phone number from the registration card. Then the greeter makes a call within 72 hours to (1) thank the guest for attending, (2) share information about an upcoming class fellowship/project and next week’s lesson, (3) ask for any additional questions, (4) ask for and share prayer requests, and (5) pray together. (Again, this effort is important because it continues the relationship!) The greeter should ensure the guest is added to the class prospect list (and/or a care group list) if the guest did not wish to be added to the class list that day. The greeter will also want to write down all additional information discovered in conversation with the guest that could be helpful as the class makes additional contacts in the weeks to come.