Church Visitors, Easter, and Learning from a Hotel
This past weekend my wife and I went a little crazy.
Intending to visit Maryland we loaded up the truck and set of down the Jersey Turnpike. Hungry for lunch we avoided Turnpike food and instead opted for a mediocre cheese steak and veggie wrap in Janesburg, NJ. That’s when it hit us. We were both coming off of a long week and were realizing that we were exhausted. Long story short, I busted out my trusty Priceline Negotiator app on my phone and got us two nights at the Hyatt Regency in Princeton for $40 a night (original price? $109 a night).
I tell this story not to brag about my fierce, android assisted, negotiating skills but because of what happened at the hotel when we got there. From the moment we set foot in the Hyatt we were treated like royalty. At check-in we were able to request a king-sized bed on the top floor, and they even gave us a refrigerator and free wireless internet (normally $10). They called us Mr. and Mrs. Steen, and asked us repeatedly if there was any other way that they could serve us. On Saturday afternoon the front desk called up and asked us how our stay was and if they could be of any assistance.
Did I mention that I only paid $40 a night for this place?
This weekend caught me by surprise: the hotel had every right to treat us as hangers on based on the price break that we received on our room, yet they treated us like VIPs… It was kinda nice!
Processing through our experience the thought came to me “if only churches could make people feel this welcomed” (I know, I am a geek). How well does your congregation treat people who don’t necessarily fit the demographics of your normal clientele? Do people who would ordinarily not step foot inside a church feel welcomed… would they feel like you want them to be there?
We are four weeks out from Easter, one of those cultural church days where people feel like they need to be in church. How are you preparing to ensure that people feel welcomed? What are you instilling in the culture of your church that will create a welcoming culture both on Easter Sunday and the Sundays to come?
What plans are you making so that your Easter visitors feel genuinely welcomed in your church?