Why “Friendly” and “Welcoming” are NOT the Same Thing

The goal of excellent church hospitality teams should be to communicate “we are expecting Guests” every Sunday morning. 

However, this does not happen without intentionality. Every congregation, both healthy and unhealthy, tends to drift inward relationally over time. A strong Sunday morning welcome reminds everyone at the church of the presence of first-time Guests.

Remember, there is a difference between a friendly church and a welcoming church.

Without trained leadership and developed systems, a church welcome moves from the healthy expectation of Guests to one of three accidental mindsets. We know this because the team of Navigators at Auxano have experienced these non-verbal communications  in our 15+ years of performing Guest Perspective Evaluations:

“We think you can figure out where to go and sit because we are only tolerating your presence until we approve your theology.”

“We desperately want you to come back again because we need you to help us survive another week around here.”

“We are surprised you actually showed up because most of us have been looking for a good reason to leave for years.”

None of the three will result in a second time Guest visit.

> Read more from Bryan.


Want to know more about Guest Experiences at your church? Let’s talk! Connect with an Auxano Navigator here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bryan Rose

As Lead Navigator for Auxano, Bryan Rose has a strong bias toward merging strategy and creativity within the vision of the local church and has had a diversity of experience in just about every ministry discipline over the last 12 years. With his experience as a multi-site strategist and campus pastor at a 3500 member multi-campus church in the Houston Metro area, Bryan has a passion to see “launch clarity” define the unique Great Commission call of developing church plants and campus, while at the same time serving established churches as they seek to clarify their individual ministry calling. Bryan has demonstrated achievement as a strategic thinker with a unique ability to infuse creativity into the visioning process while bringing a group of people to a deep sense of personal ownership and passion.

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