What do people experience when they step inside your church?
What do you want them to experience?
My guess is that you want people to experience true hospitality. But how do we do this? Creating a warm, inviting, hospitable environment doesn't just happen. It takes intentionality. It takes thoughtfulness. It takes a plan.
As we seek to show Christ-like hospitality before, during, and after our worship gatherings each weekend, it is critical that we develop some of the structural logistics needed to create a hospitable environment. Here are five things you will need to pull this off with excellence each week.
#1: A Prepared Team: A group of people who are equipped to carry out the vision of Gospel-Drenched Hospitality. These folks are prepared, motivated, and ready to love the heck out of people!
#2: An Inviting Facility: A facility that is accessible, clean, and safe. To make sure this is the case, regularly take walks in and around the church building and look at everything through the eyes of a first time visitor. It is amazing what you will see.
#3: Clear Communication: People know where they are supposed to go and what they are supposed to do. Warm, knowledgeable greeters and attractive, easy to read signage are both essential to assuring clear communication happens each week.
#4: A “Knowing” Game-plan: A strategic game-plan to connect with and care for people with Gospel love and grace. How are you going to “know” who is there? Do you have a system for following up on visitors? Work to develop a system by which you can know what is really going on in the lives of both members and visitors.
#5: Integration Strategy: An strategic plan to get people connected with your church beyond Sunday morning. We are talking here about clear, intentional assimilation that is vital for integrating people into the body of your church.
These are five crucial components to developing a church culture marked by Gospel-Drenched hospitality. If you want people to feel loved and cared for, if you desire for people to experience authentic, personal relationships at your weekend worship gatherings, work to develop each of these.