I recently went to a new car wash. The man working there came out with a big smile and helped me select and pay for my car wash. The workers then proceeded to go around my car with some soft brushes to clean off some of the bugs and other dirt that is stubborn and hard to get off. As I started into the car wash the man was smiling and handed me an air freshener for the car. After the wash I proceeded to the free vacuum area and was surprised to find that in addition to the free vacuums there were paper towels and window cleaner to use. I then discovered hand sanitizer that I could use to clean my hands. There was a number on the wall that I could call to register any complaints or comments. I called the number to compliment them on how good of job they were doing. I left a message and just a few hours later the owner called to say thank you for my positive comments. In our conversation, he said, “It is hard to get good workers. Any time I interview a potential employee I ask them if they can smile for eight hours and say thank you. That is the beginning point for a good employee.” He then said he would like to send me two coupons good for two car washes. I was not expecting that, but I really appreciated it. I had a great experience and plan to return.
When someone visits your Sunday School class do they have a great experience and want to return? What can we do to assure they have a great experience? I would hope that all Sunday School classes would naturally welcome guests but sadly I have observed some classes that hardly acknowledge the guests and in some ways ignore them. Some people may not feel they know what to say and do to make a guest feel welcome. Let’s look at some basic ways we can make a guest feel welcome.
Any time we see a guest we should push our “smile button” and give them a friendly greeting. Introduce yourself and ask their name(s). Share some basic information about your family, then ask about their family and if they are new in the area. You don’t want to be too pushy but you do want to show genuine interest in them so they feel wanted and welcome. Introduce the guests to others in the Sunday School class and ask the guests to sit with you. Ask them to complete a guest information form to assure you get address, phone number, etc. so you can follow up later. It is better to ask for this information after you have had a change to make the guests feel welcome rather than sticking a form in front of them as soon as they enter the room. Give them a Sunday School learners guide and tell them what the class is currently studying in Sunday School. After the lesson invite them to sit with you in worship and tell them about any upcoming Sunday School class activities or socials and anything that may be a church-wide activity they may want to participate in. If they have children make sure they know how to get back to the preschool, children, or student areas and that they know about the different ministries that are available to their family members. Introduce them to the pastor or other ministers. That afternoon or the next day give them a call to thank them for visiting and to see if they have any questions about the church or Sunday School class. Tell them you hope they had a good experience and that you will be looking for them at church. Make sure you do look for them and greet them with a friendly smile and call them by name.
You could give them a “WOW” experience by inviting them to lunch on Sunday or dropping by the next week with a loaf of homemade bread, pie, or cake. What is your Sunday School class doing to make sure your guests have a “WOW” experience? Share your thoughts and comments below.