In any given month, we all experience various encounters of welcome. In this season, we may run into a person ringing a bell outside a crowded store or even a friendly staffer whose sole purpose is to show the store’s appreciation for our choices in shopping. Churches have this same expectation; it is easy to forget that people often “shop” for that perfect fit when it comes to finding a Church home. In fact, our job begins before people even show up on our property. We have to consider the latest trends in First Impressions when it comes to communications, branding, websites, social media, signage, drive-by observations, etc.
Our staff is in different congregations each month taking notes. We love to see when a Church knocks it out of the park – that energy is palpable as clergy, staff and volunteers help make each guest feel welcome. Not long ago, one church stood out as truly “getting it” with their sign out front displaying a word of welcome. Their parking lot team was directing traffic and passing along greetings. Door greeters continued by wishing us a warm welcome and handshake. Their Connection Center had neatly displayed information, along with coffee and breakfast items. First-time guests were offered a “swag bag” with useful items and details; they were careful to not single-out or embarrass newcomers. The kids and youth were seemingly everywhere; a church with all generations present was pointing to this term of “WELCOME” in living color. Even the bathrooms were stocked with various necessities… everything from individually-packaged personal hygiene items to stain wipes, mints and more.
When a church “gets it,” we notice. Of course, we all notice the other side, too: light fixtures out, no paper supplies in the restroom, landscaping is askew, no greeters – it can combine to give a sense that “they seem to not care if I stay, let alone, return.” It is plausible we could all write columns on what a church experience should not be like.
The Foundation & Development Company seek to help local churches and individuals plan for the future. We want to be intentional and strategic, but not only with financial or investment needs. As God’s people, all that we do is tied to the stewardship of hospitality. For individuals and churches, we love to see lives changed with the goal of being ready to go, grow, rethink and reach each one with the love of Christ. We notice, as do all first-time and returning guests, when congregations align together to proclaim a message of hope and hospitality – and of WELCOME – to those encountered at the front door.
So in this era of constant distractions to our faith from every direction, we look forward to partnering with you and your congregation by way of helping to finance new dreams and explore investments that provide for the future. How can we serve you? We look forward to such an opportunity: contact us today!