First published on this website in December 2003 and last updated in April 2020
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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:
- Keep the team small and give it a specific responsibility
- Appoint one overall leaders and select members by ability and enthusiasm
- Keep the team low-profile and do not upstage your other welcomers
- 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,
- championing the cause of welcome (and so working themselves out of a job!).
There are then worked examples of a role description for the team, and for a volunteers agreement for the team.
Here is the link to this item: TN14 - Setting up a Newcomers Team.pdf
One user of these notes wrote: "These training notes were very helpful for us in setting up a Newcomers Team. 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. 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."
These notes have been updated in April 2020 with the final worked examples added for the first time.