Think of the typical Sunday morning greeter. His or her job is to open the door, say a word of greeting, distribute bulletins, and possibly help people find the appropriate classrooms or a seat in the worship service. Basically a greeter’s job is to get people from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible so the greeter can turn around and help the next guest get from Point A to Point B.
While this definition of a greeter is an extremely important role, the greeter rarely engages in conversation with guests beyond saying hello. We need unchurched families attending VBS and VBS Family Celebration greeted and welcomed, but even more we need them connected to other families, church leaders, and the ongoing ministries of the church.
To do so requires enlisting additional greeters so each guest can receive personal attention. Training all greeters what it means to be a connector is an important part of VBS preparation.
To become connectors greeters need to be trained to do the following:
- Ask guests a few simple questions that will help greeters connect guests with someone in the congregation that lives in the same neighborhood, has kids attending the same schools, has a similar career, or interest in the same hobbies. Use simple questions such as: “Where do you work?” “Where you do live?” “What do you enjoy doing on the weekend?” “Are there other family members living in the home?” “How did you learn about VBS?”
- Become observant of vehicles, clothing (such as camouflage or nursing scrubs), or logos that might give a clue about a guest’s interests or career.
- Tell the guest’s about someone in the church who lives in the same neighborhood, works in a similar career, or has a similar hobby.
- After a guest has been escorted to his destination, the greeter needs to make enough notes to be able to recall the conversation and then check with the registration team for contact information.
- Later the same day the greeter should use the collected information to contact the person in the congregation who is best able to connect with the unchurched guest.
- Members of the congregation need to be trained to expect calls from greeters and to follow through by working to build a relationship with the assigned family.
Join the conversation: how do the greeters at your church connect with guests?
Next week’s Connection Points: Preschool Workers.
Making continued connections and building relationships is the responsibility of the entire congregation. Connecting with unchurched families requires people from every age group and every area of ministry.
While the kids ministry is needed to connect with kids, the adult ministry is needed to connect with the parents and grandparents. Making these connections may begin during VBS, but lasting connections are made through the consistency of contacts made in the weeks, months, and years following VBS.
The registration team serves on the front line of connections. If adequate information is not gathered up front making continued connections become much more challenging. The registration team has a big job. They are not only responsible for collecting information, they also must arrange the information and share it in a way the rest of the congregation can begin to use immediately.
Train the registration team to do the following:
- Get complete and accurate information for every person registering for VBS. Attempt to get information about every member of the family.
- Realize the team is most likely the first impression and first contact with your VBS and church.
- Spend as much time as possible during the registration process talking with parents and seeking information that can be used by others to continue the connection.
- Make notes on registration cards or in the computer of information discovered.
- Discreetly flag registration information indicating an unchurched family. Pass the information on to classroom leaders and the church staff so that special attention can be given to building connections with the kids and parents during the week.
- Make an effort to greet unchurched families each day and broaden the connection established at registration.
Other actions to consider:
- Since a registration team member might be the only VBS worker some parents will meet, station team members near the door at dismissal, during VBS Family Celebration, and during other connection activities.
- After the first day crunch the registration team often has little to do. For the rest of the week ask them to intentionally connect with parents during drop off and pick up times.
- During down time ask registration team members to write cards or letters to connect with parents they met during registration.
Join the conversation: how do you use the registration team to continue connections?
Next week’s Connection Points: Greeters.