I experienced a little deja vu this past weekend. Lois and I visited one of the campuses of The Chapel, a fou-campus multi-site church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. An older man, Alex, greeted us as we came in. He asked a simple question as we entered, "Are you new to The Chapel?" I told him we were visiting relatives close by and had heard about their church through my niece. He proceeded to give us the history of the place, a guided tour, introduced us to the campus pastor, and gave us every brochure they had.
A few things stood out about Alex:
- He didn't fit the younger demographic of the church.
- He explained that he's the Megyver of the church. He can fix most things, and he knows technology since he started into computing in 1964.
- He was a leader in the Lutheran church that was going under, and it's his signature on the deed they gave to The Chapel when they took over leadership four years ago.
- He knew we were new because he stands at that door for every service every weekend.
- He was excited about his church!
Keith (our Hudson Campus Pastor) was talking to a group of leaders recently, and he said my wife's name came up several times. Seems a lot of people who came when we meeting at the school were deeply impacted by her warm welcome and were amazed when she remembered their name the second time they came. She's not that good with names, she was simply there every week and worked hard and intentionally at memorizing names. Seems Dan Berglund's name came up too. He was always at the door welcoming people, wearing an orange jump suit in the winter, making sure no one slipped on the ice.
Alex's campus is growing. They have three services in their 200 seat auditorium and have plans for expansion. I can tell you from our experience and the stories we heard all the time, our greeters have made a huge difference in our growth.
It's a different kind of experience at the Woodbury campus now because of our size, but a helpful (and not overly friendly) greeter still makes an important difference. A personal touch in a larger campus is noticed. We get those kind of comments on the cards from first-time guests all the time. And for Hudson, the impact can be even bigger.
Can I put out a challenge, though? I think we could do even better if we had a few people who were there every week so that they could become more familiar with the faces and names of our first-time guests...people who saw this as a crucial ministry where they can make a significant impact. Yes, we need a lot of people who will work once per month on a rotation, but we only need a few that will be there every week. Are you one of those people?