…But first, a Bible devotion…
In the Spirit of Philemon: the Ministry of Hospitality
For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother. Philemon 7
Philemon practiced a ministry of hospitality that went “above and beyond” expectations of his guests. The apostle Paul knew this, having acknowledged in his letter to Philemon, “Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say.” Philemon 21
It’s very likely that Paul didn’t need to ask Philemon to prepare a guestroom. Philemon probably had everything ready and waiting for his special guest. The ministry of hospitality is profoundly farsighted.
The ministry of hospitality is also unselfish, inclusive, and prayerfully practiced. It is a ministry that is welcoming and refreshing for others. It is a ministry that shares the joy of knowing and confessing that Jesus is Lord.
God uses His children to cheerfully greet those entering His house of worship. We are those who offer the good news of Jesus Christ, that He is Lord (Acts 10:36).
May we, like Philemon, always be found faithful ministering to those who need the Master’s restoring touch, going above and beyond all expectations. This is the spirit of Philemon, the ministry of hospitality.
Purpose of GREETERS:
To welcome guests and others to the church, presenting the best first impression to all who enter the house of worship.
Duties of GREETERS:
- Encourage other volunteers in the Hospitality Ministry.
- Be in place on Sunday mornings to welcome guests, answer questions, escort them to their appropriate Sunday School classes, and introduce them to others.
- Distribute information and worship bulletins to guests and others.
- Assist attendees with small children, limited mobility, or disabilities as they enter the church.
- Maintain a pleasant and welcoming environment.
- Be available on Sunday mornings near the welcome desk, doors, and other locations (including parking lots) to assist attendees with any needs they may have.
Purpose of USHERS:
To facilitate the efficient functioning of worship and other large church events by making provisions for the needs of worshippers/attendees.
Duties of USHERS:
- Greet worshippers/attendees as they enter; distribute worship bulletins, programs, or other literature as needed.
- Assist in the seating of worshippers/attendees as needed.
- Provide information about the church to worshippers/attendees.
- Receive offerings.
- Be alert to the needs of worshippers/attendees and be prepared to assist them as needed.
- Coordinate with child care workers to notify parents of needs regarding their children.
- Maintain order in the event that attendees create a disturbance which disrupts worship or other church events.
- Control the doors leading into the Worship Center for safe, quiet entry and exiting.
- Ushers should be located throughout the building: near all doors, in the Fireside Lobby, in the Worship Center Lobby, and checking on the CAC, unused classroom areas, and both children’s worship locations.
Hospitality Ministry Orientation
Hospitality Ministry volunteers usually serve one Sunday morning each month (more often, if desired). The church office coordinates the team’s schedule. Changes to the schedule should be made through the office. A ministry team leader may also assist.
If a Hospitality Ministry volunteer cannot make his/her assigned time on Sunday morning, he/she should do the following:
- Ask another team member to fill in or to trade assignments.
- Contact the church office with notice that he/she will be absent, and inform the office of the person who is filling in.
Upon arrival at your assigned greeting location, do the following:
- Find a name tag and put it on.
- Tidy up the area so that it is appealing and uncluttered.
- Get ready to hand out bulletins, children’s activity pages, Connection Cards, guest gifts, and other information as requested.
- Notify church office immediately of any needed material.
Assisting guests with Sunday School
ADULTS (without children):
- Greet all guests with enthusiasm and equality.
- Show them the ADULT Sunday School
- Ask them to choose a class that they think fits them. Assist by explaining features of each class.
- Ask if they know a friend or family member at KFBC and would like to attend class with them.
- Escort them to the class or ask an usher to escort them to the class. Never send guests to a class by themselves.
If a family is seeking Sunday School class information, start with the youngest person, escort them to their classes, and end with the adults (after having offered the adults to choose a class, as above). Parents will then have the opportunity to see where their children are located.
- Preschool children (babies – Pre-K) should be checked in by their parents at the Preschool Department check station (in the hallway behind the Worship Center lobby).
- Children K – 5th grades should be dropped off and picked up by their parents at the child’s classroom door.
WHAT TO TELL PARENTS ABOUT CHILD CARE:
- Early service (8:15 a.m.) features childcare for babies – 6 years old. Children’s Worship is not offered during this time.
- Late service (10:45 a.m.) features childcare for babies – 3 years old, with Children’s Worship for the following:
- Preschool Children, 4 years old – Kindergarten, are escorted by their Sunday School teachers to Preschool Worship in room 123. Parents should plan to pick up their children at either the Sunday School classroom if they are not staying for worship or at Preschool Worship, room 123, immediately after worship service concludes.
- Children’s Worship for 1st – 5th grades is located downstairs under the Worship Center. Offer use of the elevator as needed. Parents should plan to pick up their children at their Sunday School classroom door after the Sunday School hour and take them to the main Worship Center. During worship, children are dismissed to Children’s Worship. Guests are welcome to escort their own children to Children’s Worship if they’d like. After worship, children are escorted upstairs to meet their parents in the Worship Center lobby.
GREETER/USHER DO’S & DON’TS:
- A greeter/usher is one of the most important people a guest will meet at church. Most newcomers make a decision about returning based on the first few minutes of their visit. If they don’t see Christ’s love in church, they probably won’t come back.
- Greeters/ushers should always be alert, friendly, gentle, kind, patient, positive, and upbeat. You should remember that many first-time guests are intimidated by a couple of main factors: the surroundings and not knowing the people.
- Greeters/ushers should always be on the lookout for someone in need of assistance, even if you are not working your assigned time – you’re always on duty!
- Greeters/ushers should always be at their post at least 15 minutes before a service starts. Remember, guests often arrive early to find a Bible study class or a seat in worship.
- Greeters/ushers should always be at their post at least 15 minutes after a service begins. Be ready to assist guests who arrive late or are delayed in arranging childcare.
- The Welcome Station should always be staffed. If someone needs assistance, ask another greeter or an usher to help out. If a greeter needs to accompany a guest, an usher should cover the Welcome Station until the greeter returns.
- Greeters/ushers should never be so busy talking to members that they don’t notice people who need assistance. ALWAYS LOOK APPROACHABLE! Talk with friends later. Talk to guests NOW.
HOW DO I MEET AND GREET?
The most important words spoken to a guest are the FIRST words they hear the moment they are on the property. Follow these steps when meeting and greeting:
- Be friendly – SMILE! Extend a handshake or other appropriate gesture.
- Introduce yourself immediately. Be the first one to speak; don’t wait for the guest to say something. Introduce them to others, as appropriate.
- If you are not sure the person is new, you can say something like this, “How long have you attended First Baptist?” or, “How long have you been coming here?” or even, “I don’t think we’ve met – my name is _____.” Do not ask, “Are you new here?” or, “Is this your first time attending?”
- Ask for the person’s name. It’s quite polite to do so. WRITE IT DOWN. Address them by their names as you talk, when you introduce them to others, and the next time you see them. Be cordial and respectful (use Mr. & Mrs. as appropriate, as well as ma’am and sir, or Ms. or Dr.)
- The Welcome Station usually has a supply of CONNECTION CARDS (or similar visitor information forms) which you can use to record names and other information. MAKE SURE THIS INFORMATION IS DELIVERED TO THE OFFICE.
- Do not ask adults how old they are! It is okay to ask children their ages or grades. However, be careful in guessing older teens’ ages or grades. Quite often, a collegiate looks like a highschooler and a highschooler looks collegiate age. Be discerning.
- NEVER SAY, “I don’t know” and then ignore the guest’s query. If you do not know the answer to a question, respond by saying something like, “That’s a great question. I’ll find the answer and get back with you.” Get contact information for follow-up.
- Greeters, ask an usher or another greeter to assist you in responding to a guest’s need or to fill in for you for a few minutes while you assist a guest. When referring a guest to the office, escort them to that area and introduce them to a ministry assistant or pastor.
WHERE TO FIND THINGS
- Bibles and New Testaments (free) are in the office.
- Bulletins are at the Welcome Station. Additional information may also be found there like monthly church calendar, event flyers, prayer guides, offering envelopes, etc.
- Children’s Activity Bulletins are at the Welcome Station.
- Children’s Worship, 10:45 a.m. service only, is in Preschool rm. 123 for 4 years old – Pre-K; and in B10 for 1st – 5th
- Connection Cards are in pew racks and at the Welcome Station.
- Emergency supplies (first aid kits, AED units, and fire extinguishers) are located throughout the facility.*
- Floor plans for all areas of the church can be found in Sunday School leaflets, available at the welcome desk.
- Handicap Parking is located beside and behind the church.
- WELCOME tags are in the cabinet at the Welcome Station.
- Nursing Mother’s Room is in the short hallway in the Nursery area.
- Office hours on Sunday mornings are 8-10:30. During the week: 8-4 (closed for lunch).
- Phone service (land-line) is in the office.
- Prayer Room is through the door at the top of the entrance ramp in the Fireside Lobby. It can also be accessed from the Worship Center near the sound booth.
- Preschool Department Check Station is in the hallway immediately behind the Worship Center lobby.
- Storm shelter is in the basement. Intermediate shelter can be sought in Preschool Department classrooms having brick or block walls.
- Sunday School leaflets are at the Welcome Station.
- Visitor Parking is located beside and across from the church.
- Weather closures are announced on the church website, Facebook, Twitter, and local television stations (KC). Worship is never cancelled, although early service and Sunday School might be cancelled if weather is severe.
- Welcome Gifts for 1st-time guests are at the Welcome Station.
Section Greeters provide a warm welcome to everyone sitting in their section of worship, guests and members alike. Section Greeters also provide a level of connection for guests looking for information or simply looking for a friendly person.
The six most important minutes of a church service, in our guests’ eyes, are the three minutes before the service and the three minutes after the service. Here’s some information to help you manage that priceless time:
- Arrive early to the worship. Stay a few minutes after the service.
- Friendliness is expected. Hospitality shows you care. Inform people who don’t know you where you will be sitting so they can catch you after service if they need anything.
- Welcome without commotion. A fine line exists between being friendly and being desperate. Don’t go overboard or make a fuss.
- Do not neglect greeting children. If you are able, kneel to the eye level of children and greet them enthusiastically.
- Have a bulletin with you for reference to information. If people have questions that you cannot answer, tell them that you will find out and follow up with them later (get contact info). Sometimes a church member sitting nearby can answer questions, too. NEVER SAY, “I DON’T KNOW!”
- Gently encourage visitors to fill out a Connection Card and place it in the offering plate when we worship with our giving.
- Introduce visitors to those in your section whom you know.
- To discover if a person is new or has visited before, a safe question to ask is, “How long have you attended First Baptist?” Responses will range from “This is my first time” to “For a while.”
- Be alert to people from your section who respond during the invitation and response time. Don’t let them remain at the front alone at the end of the service. During the closing prayer, you may move to the front to be with them. You may be the only person they’ve met at church!
PARKING LOT GREETERS
Parking lot greeters provide a warm welcome for our guests and members alike. Greeting in the parking lot also makes a great ministry for families to do together. General guidelines are:
- There are normally three “shifts” on Sunday mornings for parking lot greeters. Greeters should be in place NO LATER THAN the start time of their assignment, and remain on duty the full time (unless prevented by weather or other interruptions). Please use good judgment regarding when to end your shift (e.g., if cars are still coming in, stay until you’ve greeted everyone). The shifts are:
• 8-9 a.m.
• 9-10 a.m.
• 10-11 a.m.
- Look approachable and identifiable. Orange safety vests should be worn by each greeter, available in the church office. Return the vests ASAP for the next greeter to use or exchange at your post.
- Be in position BEFORE your start time, as follows or as instructed:
- One person across S. Grove on the north end of the sidewalk.
- One person across S. Grove on the south end of the sidewalk.
- If someone requests handicap parking, direct them to the spaces available at the north side of the church or behind the church where a small lot is reserved for that purpose on Sunday mornings. If handicap parking is unavailable, do your best to assist someone in parking and/or entering the church.
- After people park their vehicles, greet them on the sidewalk as they walk to the church:
• Go to them. Don’t wait for them to come to you.
• If you know them, greet quickly and move on to others.
• Greet in a friendly way: “Welcome to First Baptist. I’m _____.”
• Direct them to the closest or most convenient church entrance (remember that the main church entrance is most suitable for strollers, wheelchairs, and others needing easy accessibility).
• If it is rainy, have an umbrella with you. If needed, use an umbrella to escort people from the parking lot to the church entrance, ladies and children first, of course.
• If people need information that you cannot provide, instruct them to visit the Welcome Station or to see one of the greeters at the doors of the church. Have a bulletin with you for reference to information.
• If you cannot make your assigned shift, be sure to ask someone to trade times with you, if possible. If you must cancel at the last minute, try to call the church office to inform someone: 628-5693.
• Do not offer to park or move someone’s car for them.
* SAFETY & SECURITY
- If at all possible, have a cell phone with you.
- If there is a medical emergency, call 911
The church address is 303 South Grove Street, or just tell the operator the emergency is at First Baptist Church, Kearney. Fire Department and EMS is just a block away.
- If you suspect foul play or see other suspicious behavior, call 911 and report it at once to the church office, 628-5693. Do not place yourself in a compromising situation.
- If you have children assisting you with greeting, do not leave them unattended while greeting inside or outside. For parking lot greeters, use your best judgment in allowing your child to assist. Do not let them be crossing guards!
- First aid kits & AED machines are in the following locations:
- 1st Aid: Worship Center lobby, far right cabinet, red bag
- 1st Aid: Basement, in Choir Room, blue box
- 1st Aid: Children’s Area Upstairs, on top of corner shelf by Kindergarten room, red bag
- 1st Aid: CAC, in Laundry room, red bag
- 1st Aid, pediatric: Preschool check-in station
- AED Machine: In basement, in open area on wall
- AED Machine: In Fireside Lobby, on wall at corner across from office conference room
- AED Machine: In Activity Center, 1st floor near SE stairwell.
Church floor plan