According to Acts chapter 9, the church in Jerusalem did not have a “Welcome Team.” In fact, they were quite “unwelcoming.” One can only imagine how disappointed and discouraged Saul must have been after being given the cold shoulder upon his first visit to the church in Jerusalem. I wonder what kind of Google review Saul would have left had he had the opportunity? But one individual - Barnabas - stepped up to “welcome” Saul into the church in Jerusalem. Because of the "welcome ministry" of Barnabas, Saul got busy serving the Lord and was used by God in an amazing way. I wonder what would have happened had Barnabas not “welcome” Saul?
As you can see, a "Welcome Team" is important. Consider the following:
It allows us to fulfill our mission.
The mission of South Charlotte Baptist Church is "Proclaiming the Gospel; Experiencing the miracle of changed lives." How can we ever proclaim the Gospel to an individual if we never have contact with them? How can we ever hope to experience the miracle of changed lives if we never develop a relationship with individuals?
Here is the reality: what takes place in the first ten minutes when a first-time guest arrives at your church will largely determine whether he or she returns.
If we never have contact with individuals, we can never hope to share the Gospel with them. If individuals never come under the influence of the ministries of South Charlotte Baptist Church then we can never hope to ever see lives changed.
It allows us to fulfill our vision.
The vision of South Charlotte Baptist Church is "Loving God by loving others." People in our city are hurting and looking for hope. They are searching for the truth in a world that is devoid of truth. They have tried religion and come up empty. They need to know that it’s all about a relationship. We have the hope, the truth, the relationship that people are looking for. It is our desire to be that tool that God uses to share the Gospel message and to have a part in seeing their lives changed. As soon as guests arrive on our campus, we want them to sense the love of God as we love them!
A smiling welcome.
A sincere handshake.
An offer to help.
An opened door.
A word of encouragement.
An umbrella in the rain.
Those are all small ways in which we can share the love of God with others. That is a Welcome Team's ministry.
It is a matter of stewardship.
Do we expect guests to come? Are we prepared when guests do come?
A “Welcome Team” ministry is a matter of stewardship because it shows that we are expecting guests to come and it shows that we are prepared when guests do come!
Guests don’t know...
where to park.
where they should go to have their questions answered.
where the nurseries are.
where the bathrooms are located
And there are many more things that guest just don't know and worst of all guests don’t know who to ask to have their questions answered. That's where a "Welcome Team" steps in. They are ready to answer those questions!
It allows us to focus.
When you come to church, what are thinking about?
Most church members and regular attenders, as they make their way to church, are not thinking about guests. That's not being critical; that's just being realistic.
In an ideal world, everyone in our church family would take seriously this matter of welcoming and greeting guests but, we don’t live in an ideal world.
We need individuals who truly understand the vital importance of a “Welcome Team” ministry.
We need individuals whose sole focus is greeting people.
We need individuals who look beyond themselves and see others.
We need individuals who are praying about the “divine encounters” they will have with first time guests.
We need individuals who understand that they are the “first line of ministry” to our first time guests.
That's a Welcome Team!
It allows individuals to serve.
Have you ever wondered, “How can I serve at South Charlotte Baptist Church?” Here’s your opportunity. The Welcome Team is a great way to begin serving within your local church because...
It does not require a financial commitment.
It doesn’t not require a time commitment other than simply being in attendance on Sundays.
It doesn’t require any special talents or ability.
Will you be a part of helping your local church become a “Welcoming Church?”