7 Ways You Can Help People Welcome You Into Their Church

welcomeStarting at a new church is undoubtedly tough, but there are definitely challenges on both sides.

No one doubts the importance of being a welcoming church, but what about being an easily ‘welcomable’ person?

Here are a few things that really make it easier for a church to embrace you!

  1. Come consistently. If someone sees you several weeks in a row, they’ll start to realize that you’re serious about connecting.
  2. Don’t leave as soon as the service ends.  If you want people to be welcoming, you need to be available.
  3. Say yes to invites. People who say no give the vibe that they’re not interested. It can be nerve-wracking for someone to extend an invitation to someone they don’t know. Getting a no can feel like rejection and makes them less inclined to ask again.
  4. Join a small group or Bible study. This is how people in big churches get to know each other. If you’re not in one, don’t be surprised if you feel out of the loop.
  5. Get involved in ministry. This is one of the best ways for you to connect with people and sends a message that you’re actually planning to stick around
  6. Make yourself known! There’s nothing wrong with going up to someone and letting them know you’re new. Especially in a big church, people can be afraid to ask in case you’ve been coming for a long time!
  7. Realize that good friendships take time to cultivate.

13 comments on “7 Ways You Can Help People Welcome You Into Their Church

  1. Mark Myers says:

    These are excellent suggestions. My family is in the position of looking for a church home again and you’re right, it is a two way street. I think we’ve found one (finally), but we’ve been looking for a while.

    • sarsrose says:

      I hope you find them helpful Mark. To be honest, I’ve had very little experience with having to find a new church. I can imagine it would be very difficult, not only to find somewhere that is theologically sound, but that fits and works for your family (particularly when you have kids).
      So having hardly any experience there, I can’t speak on that topic, but figured this was one I could offer something on. I sooo appreciate it when the person I’m trying to make an effort with, is actually making an effort back!

      • Mark Myers says:

        Well, we’ve been looking for a year. There are serious challenges in finding the right place, but I think we are there now. We’ve been in places where no one talked to us and places where we even got a home visit. But you won’t find out if a place is the right fit until you engage and get past the window dressing of the service. Valid points you made, sounded like you’d been there!

  2. Sis says:

    we are having a lot of trouble in this area of our lives right now. Churches are hard.

    • Mark Myers says:

      Not to hijack another’s blog, but I couldn’t agree more. They are hard. You would think the opposite, but not so. It’s tough to get past the window dressing of ‘we like or don’t like the worship service’. Once you settle down and find an ugly underbelly, you’ve wasted 3 months. Good luck in your search. There’s a place for you.

      • sarsrose says:

        Go for it. Your comments are very valuable! That certainly would be tough. I hope you find somewhere that you can call your church home soon. I’m sure you’ve done this, but often meeting with a pastor early on to get a good idea of the mission, doctrine and theology of the church can give you a deeper idea of it’s direction and what you’re likely to find there, beyond what you can observe from the worship service. Will pray that you and your family find somewhere where you can get solid bible teaching and be free to use your gifts within the body of Christ. 🙂

    • sarsrose says:

      Hi Sis. Thanks for taking the time to read my post. I imagine that is very hard, though as I said, all my experience has really been as the welcomer rather than the welcomee, so I can’t really claim to know what you’re going through. I really hope you find a church that openly welcomes you and a place where you can grow spiritually and serve the body of Christ by using your gifts.
      I know I would find it so challenging being the new person (and when you’re looking for a new church you often have to be the ‘new person’ many times over)… I just wrote this mostly for people to whom it hasn’t occurred that they can do things to help the process. People who sit back and wait to be served make it a bit harder on themselves and others. If a church is welcoming, and the new person is responding positively it all goes so much more smoothly, even if they decide not to stick around in the long run.
      I hope you have some positive experiences soon! x

  3. Jabin Mills says:

    Thanks for this Sarah, this was very insightful.

    Jabin Mills Musical Director “Mackay Choral Society”

    From: sarsrose Reply-To: sarsrose Date: Thu, 9 Jan 2014 10:47:10 +0000 To: Pastor Jabin Mills Subject: [New post] 7 Ways You Can Help People Welcome You Into Their Church

    WordPress.com sarsrose posted: “Starting at a new church is undoubtedly tough, but there are definitely challenges on both sides. No one doubts the importance of being a welcoming church, but what about being an easily welcomable person? Here are a few things that really make it eas”

  4. :-) says:

    Have to admit I disagree with quite a bit. It’s a lot easier said than done…especially if you yourself haven’t dealt with being a new person.

    *One won’t keep coming back if no one welcomes you the first few weeks, everyone just slightly glances, but no one speaks to you. It shouldn’t take several weeks of coming to a church for them to welcome you and show that they’re happy you’re there regardless on if you’re there visiting on a holiday or if you’re going to make it your home church.
    *It’s awkward to stand around waiting for someone to come up to you especially if you are alone so naturally people will walk out within minutes if someone doesn’t speak to them. If the church has a book table or something to look at so one isn’t standing awkwardly doing nothing then this can be helped to stick around a few extra minutes while waiting for someone to notice you are new.
    *You can only say yes to an invite if you actually get an invite…
    *Can’t expect someone to join a hg or bible study if people aren’t welcoming on Sunday at church.
    *People aren’t going to get involved in ministry at a church straight off the bat. If people haven’t made them feel welcome and even if they have it’s pretty rare to jump straight into ministry.
    * “make yourself known” I don’t even know what to comment about this one…….not everyone is a crazy outgoing loud extrovert that walks into a room and announces there presence and you can’t expect people to have that kind of personality. Walking into a new church is scary and one has no idea if they’re going to be a friendly outgoing church. It’s pretty daunting to just walk up to a group of people and try and talk to them when they’re already in a conversation with their best friend who they grew up at that church with. And if you’ve ever just walked up to a crowd previously and been rejected once then it doesn’t make it easy to do it again.
    Good friendships can be formed in one day, a week, a month….doesn’t have to take yrs yet unfortunately some people make it take that long to make you feel welcome in a church, which is really sad.

    • sarsrose says:

      Hi. Thanks for taking the time to read this post and for your comment.
      I think there may be some confusion in your understanding of the intention of this post. You seem to have interpreted my comments as ‘this is what someone needs to do in order to be welcomed into a church.’ That is absolutely not what I’m saying!!
      People from all walks of life enter churches, as as the church, it is our responsibility to reach out to them, try to make them feel comfortable and help them integrate into this new part of the body of Christ.
      However, in my experience, I have found it so refreshing when a newcomer, who I am going out of my way to welcome, actually responds positively. You may be surprised how rare that is.
      I expect that the receiving Church should be initiating the effort (though I did comment that there is no problem with a new person initiating if they feel they can), but the new person also has a responsibility to respond positively if they are actually looking to find a church home.

      If you attend a new church for a few weeks and no-one welcomes you, no-one invites you to join a home group, and in fact, people are rather hostile to you, absolutely find a new church. All this post is saying, is that if you attend a new church, give people the opportunity to be welcoming (ie, don’t run off straight away) and respond positively when they do. It is a two way street.

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