Taken from "50 Ways Churches Drive Away First-Time Visitors" by Jonathan Malm
My parents were missionaries in Guatemala where we worked in remove villages nestled on the sides of green mountains. We drove our blue and silver Chevy Suburban all over the country - through tiny villages and over dirt roads. This was long before cell phones and GPS technology were available to the average person, so we often had to rely on directions from villagers.
This was long before cell phones and GPS technology were available to the average person, so we often had to rely on directions from villagers. Many times, the people we would ask had no idea to get to where we were going. But Latin American courtesy prohibited them from sending us away without offering some help. So they would point farther down the road and say "recto" - straight ahead. My dad would always try to judge, from the intonations of their voice and quickness of their response, if they really knew what they were talking about or were just making it up to be courteous. Sometimes we would eventually stumble across our destination, and sometimes we wended up on another adventure.
Your church is as foreign to your guests as those remote mountain villages were to us. A pointing hand is nice, but a guide is the best way to go. Don't leave your guests wandering around, wondering if those ushers really knew what they were talking about or if they were just making it up to be courteous.
When you have greeters, ushers, etc willing to escort guests to their precise destination, the guests can breathe a sigh of relief. They can relax. They don't have to worry about accidentally entering a restricted area and they don't have to be concerned with what awaits them when they get there. "Will someone show me where the bathroom is?" "Will someone be there to show me where my 4 year old goes?" The escort can introduce them, be their advocate and make sure they are well cared for.
Escorting instead of just pointing shows you care. But it also opens another door for another wonderful opportunity. This is a great chance for greeters and ushers to talk about the great things happening at the church. How the church has impacted their life or their family. Why the parents can rest assured that their kids are well cared for.
It is a chance to make a connection and immediately turn a visitor into a friend. The guest already opened a door for a conversation just by asking a question. Take a step into every opportunity, go the extra mile and make a friend while helping someone find their way.
1. What information do you personally need to learn to be able to take our guests "the extra mile." Do you know where kids go? How to check them in? How to find out about an event?
If not, how can you learn this information?
2. How can you look for opportunities to escort a guest?
3. How can you step into those opportunities? What can you share with guests about Cornerstone on your "journey?"