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Should You Put The Kibosh On The Church Stand & Greet?

Church Greeters
Thom Rainer recently hit a nerve. He recently discovered that many people just don't like the church stand and greet on Sunday mornings. Apparently the opinions were pretty strong. This is what he discovered.

from Thom Rainer:

So what is it about this stand and greet time that many guests don’t like? Here are the seven most common responses, again listed in order of frequency.

  1. Many guests are introverts. “I would rather have a root canal than be subjected to a stand and greet time.”
  2. Some guests perceive that the members are not sincere during the time of greeting. “In most of the churches it should be called a stand and fake it time. The members weren’t friendly at all except for ninety seconds.”
  3. Many guests don’t like the lack of hygiene that takes place during this time. “Look, I’m not a germaphobe, but that guy wiped his nose right before he shook my hand.”
  4. Many times the members only greet other members. “I went to one church where no one spoke to me the entire time of greeting. I could tell they were speaking to people they already knew.”
  5. Both members and guests at some churches perceive the entire exercise is awkward. “Nowhere except churches do we have times that are so awkward and artificial. If members are going to be friendly, they would be friendly at other times as well. They’re not.”
  6. In some churches, the people in the congregation are told to say something silly to one another. “So the pastor told us to tell someone near us that they are good looking. I couldn’t find anyone who fit that description, so I left and didn’t go back.”
  7. Not only do some guests dread the stand and greet time, so do some members. “I visited the church and went through the ritual of standing and greeting, but many of the members looked just as uncomfortable as I was. We were all doing a required activity that none of us liked.”
(ht: Thom Rainer)

What do you think? Should we put the kibosh on the church stand and greet?

4 comments:

In our churche's experience, we have found the opposite to be true. We have found that for a lot of our guests, the greet one another time stood out and impressed them with the friendliness of the church. How do we know? We ask first and second timers to fill out a First Impressions Card. The first question we ask them is "What did you notice first?" We get an overwhelming number of responses refer to our church's warm and welcoming feeling.

I think to your point Mark, you got to be faithful to your church and culture...so if it works for you then I say go for it...I was surprised myself by the such negative reaction and comments Thom received from his audience on this issue.

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