Tales from the Team

  • 1 February 2022
  • Alison Keene
Welcoming and Integration

Greetings from the SHAP Welcome Team.  We now have a wonderful group of 12 people who help with this ministry at South Head – I hope you feel welcomed next time you come!

In my last Tale, I mentioned I’d been reading some helpful material on how to be a more welcoming church.  Here are three tips from that article you might find helpful:

First, the congregation is more influential in the feel of how welcoming a church is than the ‘Welcomers’!  So we are all in this together. 

Second, let’s be hosts, not gatekeepers.  Newcomers / visitors should feel they are being drawn in, rather than wondering whether they will be accepted.

And third – this is the part that helped me the most… one of the reasons we don’t go up and say hello to someone we don’t know, is that maybe we DO know them, and that’s embarrassing!  The article suggests that we say hello anyway and risk it, because not doing so is worse!  They suggest a phrase such as “I’m so sorry, I think we’ve met before but I don’t remember your name” or simply “Hello I’m Jane” – almost always the person will reply “And I’m Sally” and then you’re off.

All the above applies to our zoom services, too, needless to say.  So I hope you find these little things helpful.  See you at church or on screen soon!