Purpose of this manual
The purpose of this manual is to enlighten the team on how to properly welcome and hold a proper conversation with first time guests in a way that will build relations. The manual aims to provide training material for those who will be ministering in this ministry.
Overview of the Guests’ Lounge Ministry
The guests lounge is a designated place where leaders can meet guests over snacks and a cup of coffee or juice. It is a great way to connect with first-time and returning guests to your church.
As a church we aim to invest in providing quality and warm welcome through creating a conducive environment that is relaxed and welcoming. This can be achieved by coming together and engaging them in a meaningful conversation, which will establish relations, treat them like royalty, and signify their importance to the church.
Roles and Responsibilities of the Guest Lounge Team
The guests lounge is one of the primary connection points in which new people get to know about the church. The ultimate goal is that guests make our church their home and get involved however at this stage its more important to establish a personal connection with guests.
During our interaction with the guests in the lounge, answer any questions guests may have about the church especially service times, small groups or how we do things.
The guest lounge ushers are responsible for creating lasting impressions because they have an opportunity to engage with guests at a more personal level in a relaxed and informal setting. Usually the guest lounge ushers rekindle the excitement and warmth that was expressed from the greeters to the serving ushers and then the ministers. The guest lounge ushers help the guests to clarify anything that throughout the service, they were unsure of.
Any information that talks more about our church, services and activities is shared at the guest lounge area. We can share pamphlets, booklets etc. that we would want to give our guests.
Preparation Of Lounge
The Guest Lounge Ushers prepare the lounge area and prepare the snacks for the guests. Whenever you host a person, you prepare for them and put things in place. From a biblical perspective, hospitality is key, and many cultures express how hospitable they are by offering something to eat. The Guest Lounge Ushers play this key role of ensuring that the lounge area is ready for the guests. The following should also be remembered when preparing the lounge:
- Ensure the lounge area is clean and tidy.
- Make sure they are enough comfortable seats and they are clean.
- Ensure that there is enough literature to give the guest, as well as the guest cards and stationery to aid if the guest did not bring any.
- Ensure the room is well ventilated
- Make sure there are enough snacks for the guests and it is set before guests are escorted to the lounge area
Usually guests are asked to complete a simple card requiring their contact information during the main service. In the lounge, Guest Lounge Ushers must routinely check if every guest has filled one in before they go. Also makes sure that all the key information (name, gender, contacts, residential area) have been filled where vital information has been left out, politely request for it.
During the conversation, also try to find other information about the visitor without being intrusive or pushy. Questions like if they are visiting or how long they have been staying in the community, who invited them or how they got to know about us, can be asked.
Engaging the Guests
This is the crucial part of engaging the guests in conversation, welcoming them again and thanking them for being a part of the service that day. It is important for this to be done by the Pastor, anyone from the pastoral team or a deacon/ elder of the church. This individual should also requests the guests to fill in the visitor’s card, because most will honour a request from a person who is representing the office of the Pastor. Here are other points to consider when engaging guests:
- Offer refreshments to all guests.
- Thoroughly answer any questions the guests may have about our church, ministry programs, denomination
- Ensure guests fill in their details on the visitors card.
- Offer the guests a booklet to take home which further welcomes them, explains who we are as a church and how they can get involved.
- Assist guests who want to join the connect group/ cell group to the respective person.