01 Jan Training Your Leaders
Why are some churches warm and friendly while others are cold and uninviting? Members of churches must be trained to be friendly, kind and considerate. Of course the character of a church often very closely follows the behavior of the pastor and his wife. If the pastor is exemplifies a friendly attitude, others will learn by observing him. Though the pastor’s example is vital, I am convinced that people still need to be taught how to be friendly.
Periodically our church practices greeting visitors during the preliminary part of an evening service. I ask members to go to a person they don’t know well and introduce themselves to that person. A few times I have designated a new person with a sign and ask members to seek this visitor out until they find him and give him a warm greeting. Designating greeters is a good thing to do, but a friendly church will not be limited to a designated greeter; it should become a church-wide practice.
Another matter in which people should be trained is in reference to before and after the service. Staff, deacons, Sunday school teachers and other leaders should be taught to arrive early to church for the purpose of walking around the auditorium to greet and converse with early arrivals. This practice tends to encourage others to follow by befriending new people as well.
At the conclusion of the church service faithful members should be taught to greet new-comers who may have sat near them during the service. In addition, giving up a seat to a late-comer or giving them a song book with the correct page being sung shows forth a kindness that will impress visitors attending the service.
Another important matter of etiquette is for members to honor quest preachers. Every Christian who is blessed by a sermon should be taught to verbally express their appreciation. Children can be taught to have special speakers sign their Bible and the church as a whole should learn their responsibility to give financially to special speakers.
Teach your members to give liberally. The Bible teaches us that it is more blessed to give than to receive. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. Act 20:35
Parents can be taught proper protocol concerning children. The older folks do not always appreciate hearing a child drown out the sermon. A special room could possibly be arranged for mothers caring for their children so that they can still hear the service.
The music of the church is a major aspect of the service. Members can be taught how to sing properly in the services. Instruction could be given by the song leader periodically reminding the congregation to sing from their heart. Teaching members the story behind the song may add fervor to the singing. Pianists and organists should be playing before the service ever begins. The prelude usually should begin ten minutes prior to the beginning of the service.
Pastors should encourage the church family to honor the Lord in all that they do! A warm friendly church is never by accident; it is through the diligent training of the members.
Written by Jim Townsley