Hospitality + Your Ministry

Today we are talking about one of my most favorite subjects - Hospitality. Hospitality is a spiritual gift and I'm sure that there is an official definition, but instead of getting technical, I want to share my definition of hospitality. Here goes -- make people feel comfortable. 

One of my roles on Sunday mornings at my church is First Impressions / Hospitality Coordinator. I get so much joy seeing one of my volunteers genuinely greet new people and make genuine connections. I think an emphasis on hospitality and connection plays such a huge role in the church. It totally fights against the stereotype of stuffy, judgemental, churches. There's more to it than a hello and a handshake. 

I feel like this should be a goal for every ministry leader. We should want people to feel comfortable when they are around us and in our space. I'm talking about feeling comfortable in a friendly welcoming sense, not necessarily teaching content btw. People should be able to walk into our spaces, feel welcomed and like they belong. One way I think we can accomplish this initial feeling of hospitality is by having a... 

High Energy Welcome Team 

Whether you're applying this for youth ministry, adult ministry, or any other type of gathering, a high energy welcome team can be really beneficial. When I say high energy, I don't mean jumping up and down and whooping and hollering - save that for camp. High energy, to me, simply means a genuine "I'm excited that you're here" attitude from your welcome team volunteers. 

You might jump to the conclusion that only extroverts can be on the welcome team. NOT TRUE! Every personality type has a genuine excitement, it just may be expressed differently. If people are genuinely excited about new people coming into your ministry, then that is going to come out of every personality. This genuine excitement starts with you as the leader. 

You have to model that genuine excitement for new people. This should spill over into your every day life. Show your people how it's done by actually being excited (but not weird) when you meet new people. Take an interest, ask questions, and listen. 

Another important aspect to the welcome team is energy levels. You, the leader, have to be even more excited than your volunteers. They are going to feed off your energy whether you realize it or not. So, to have a genuine welcome wagon, model that in front of your volunteers. 

If you currently don't have a welcome team, start building one! Start praying for volunteers / leaders to rise up in your ministry. Next, ask people. One of the best things we can do for people is to empower them by recognizing skills, such as hospitality, and asking them to use those skills! - JJ