When you attend your church's weekly service, you will get used to seeing the same people around you. There will be times, however, that you notice someone new in the congregation. When this happens, it is important to make an effort to welcome this individual. People can sometimes feel a little uncertain when they attend a new church for the first time and will appreciate another member making them feel welcome. Here are some tips that you can use to achieve this goal.
Talk About Something From The Service
While you can approach a new member to introduce yourself and make a little small talk, a good way to break the ice is by talking about something from the service. It can be tempting to ask the person why they came to your church or other similar questions, but some people may be uncomfortable being put on the spot in this way. A comment such as, "I thought the choir was excellent today" or "The sermon really impacted me," may open the door toward a relaxed conversation that helps to make the person feel welcome.
Invite Them For Refreshments
A lot of churches offer refreshments after the service. Another good way to make a guest feel welcome is to invite them to join you. For example, you might say that you are planning to grab a coffee and muffin and ask them if they would be interested in doing so, too. Not only will this invitation help to make the person feel welcome and at ease, but they will also likely get a chance to meet some other church members in this environment.
Don't Be Too Pushy
Try not to be too pushy in your effort to make the new church member feel welcome as a member of your congregation. If the person is not reciprocating your conversation or does not seem very interested in getting some refreshments, it is OK to back off a little. Remember, many people attend church for different reasons. The individual may be in attendance because they are going through a difficult time in their life — perhaps dealing with the passing of a loved one — and this can mean that they are not too keen on socializing. It is OK to give the person some space and perhaps look to make a connection a week or two later when you see them again.