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Simply Smile and Say Hello

September 19, 2019 | John Teevan

You probably have some terrifying stories about sloppy customer service. Guess what? I have those stories too!

Sundays are busy for us all getting to the service, the café, dropping off children and going to a Grace Group. This is life for us “Church-goers” in America. I get it.

Do you know what we often miss? Sometimes we create those horrible customer service stories for other people, and as it turns out, we’re blind to it. We’re so busy going to where we need to be at our church that we inadvertently bypass people that are at Grace for the first time.
That’s true in businesses, schools, and in churches. And you know what’s critical? We can be the difference in the first ten minutes in a new person’s experience.

This may come as a shock, but according to people who study these things, first-time guests to churches make up their minds whether they are coming back or not in the first ten minutes of their visit. Think about that for a minute. But wait, John! They haven’t read our mission statement, held the bulletin, heard one note of music or the first word of a sermon in our Sunday service. Most first-time guests have already made a conscious or unconscious decision about whether they are returning to Grace Church.

So, what’s the bottom line whether a first-time guest to Grace church will feel they want to return? Often the barrier to Christ isn’t spiritual – it’s us.

What if we all simply greeted people the way we want to be greeted? Sounds way too easy.
It’s simple – smile and say “hello” to people you meet on Sundays. It’s 100% analog.
No one is ever offended by having a stranger say hello to them. Whether in a social gathering or on the street, everyone wants to feel accepted and acknowledged, just like you do.
Let’s celebrate together that God continues to send us people that are looking to find hope in life. We desire that we are not the barrier to someone coming to Christ.
A better first-time guest experience is one aspect of positioning our church family to reach new people.

We both know that you and I alone can’t make a Grace Church grow. It’s God’s role to bring people to Him.
But I believe we can position our church to grow. It may all start with a simple simile and “hello.”