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First published on this website in December 2003 and last updated in April 2014

Words: 1000
Size: 152 kB
Categories: Management

Synopsis

These notes provide advice on the setting up of a dedicated team of welcomers whose sole aim is to look out for visitors and newcomers. It provides four basic principles:

  1. Keep the team small and give it a specific responsibility
  2. Appoint one overall leaders and select members by ability and enthusiasm
  3. Keep the team low-profile and do not upstage your other welcomers
  4. Support the team by training, encouragement and prayer.

A number of specific tasks for the team are suggested.  These include working on a weekly basis if possible, remembering names and faces, keeping good records, moving newcomers on to the next step, and championing the cause of welcome (and so working themselves out of a job!).

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Please comment and add to the debate by way of support, disagreement, experience, additional points to make, etc.

These notes have been updated in March 2014 with minor alterations throughout the text.

These training notes were very helpful for us in setting up a Newcomers Team. The roles of 'Welcome Team' and 'Sidespeople' had always been distinct on the rota but in practice, the two were often merged.

The key for us was to separate out those who had a real talent for talking to people, from those who are more comfortable doing practical tasks. For example, one (former) member of the welcome team commented that it was great that such a lot of new people came to church, but it was a shame that he couldn't say hello because he didn't know their names. He was asked to be on the sidesperson's team instead.

Another mental shift that was needed was to give people the role of focusing mainly on newcomers, instead of feeling they had to welcome everybody.

Good welcome team members are likely to be good 'people people' so watch out that they don't get distracted talking to their friends.

The only part of John's suggestion we didn't adopt was removing name badges. Whilst I understand the reasons, we found that newcomers who wanted to find out specific things sometimes didn't know who to speak to because there were just so many people around. The badges helped.

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