About Welcome Teams

Members of the Welcome Team are usually the first representatives of the church to meet people as they arrive for worship. This means you establish the mood that enables people to worship. Be friendly and respectful to every person — try to restore the dignity that society manages to trample each week. Be proactive in answering questions and in directing people to other areas of the church.

What does the Welcome Team do?

When new people arrive they have standard questions: Where are the restrooms? Which way do I enter? You help establish a warm, welcome, friendly feeling for strangers.

Although we all like to chat with friends and members of our church family, your primary job is to help guests. If you are in the middle of a conversation with another Mt. Zion member, and a guest approaches or you see that someone needs assistance, excuse yourself and help the other person.

What to Expect

Besides Sunday services, the Mt. Zion Welcome Teams also assist at other Mt. Zion functions, such as weddings, funerals, and community fellowship events.

  • The Welcome Team at Sunday Worship

    Station yourself at a Welcome Team position. Each position needs only one person, so do not double up until all positions are covered. The positions to cover for a regular Sunday service (in order of priority) are:

    1. The set of doors at the front entrance (hand out bulletins)
    2. The set of sanctuary side doors (hand out bulletins, but also assist anyone coming in the front doors)
    3. The set of doors at the bottom of the stairs at the main entrance (greet and assist)

    Exception: if the front door area is icy, the side door person needs to put on a coat and station herself/ himself at the front door. The idea is to be able to jump out and help someone get out of the car and get up the one step without falling. People coming in the side door will need to get their own bulletins (or ask a fellow Welcome Team member not on duty to help out).

    If a position is getting low traffic, leave it open. If a position is getting overwhelmed ask someone else who has been trained for the Welcome Team if they can help out.

    While you are greeting:

    • Be friendly. Greet and welcome people! Yours is the first interaction a person normally has when visiting Mt. Zion. Imagine you are showing up at a strange church for the first time—how would you want to be treated?
    • Help people with doors.
    • Assist visitors and persons with handicaps. Help them feel comfortable by directing them to coat racks and restrooms (and childcare during the 10:30 service). Ask visitors to sign the guest book.
    • Offer to help with coats.
    • Offer to help with packages. Some folks struggle to bring in canned goods, cleaning supplies, or whatever. Sometimes our hearts are strong, but our backs are weak.

    After the service starts:

    • Close the doors to the sanctuary.
    • Normally you should sit in the back pew where you can observe what happens in the sanctuary. If you need to sit elsewhere (say, to be with family members) that’s fine, but you still need to be able to fulfill your other duties.
    • Keep an eye open for late-comers. Make sure they get a bulletin and make them feel comfortable that being late is okay — we’re just glad they could make it.
    • Watch for people with problems. For example, a guest who suddenly gets up in the middle of the service may need to know where the nearest bathroom is, and quickly! Or someone with a crying child who gets up should be directed to the area in the narthex with a rocking chair and children’s activities.
    • On the final hymn, open the doors to the sanctuary.

    After the service ends:

    Do a quick walk-through of the pews to collect bulletins or personal items that may have been left behind.

  • The Welcome Team at Christmas and Easter

    Christmas and Easter bring people who do not come to church very often — and lots of them.

    Be ready for a crowd of people, many of whom do not know the “rules” (or thought they did, when they were last in church two years earlier) and need patient help and guidance.

    Some people may say there’s no place to sit (even when offered the last pew). They may be right, in which case you need to grab some folding chairs from the Fellowship Hall to set up in the back. Or you may need to politely ask some folks to scoot down the pew a little to let someone else in, or offer to hang up coats that are taking up space.

  • The Welcome Team at Funerals and Weddings

    Special events are different from Sunday services. At a Sunday service, most people you meet will know what they are doing since they have been there before; at a wedding or funeral, most of the people there have probably never been to Mt. Zion before. Many of them may never even have been in a church before. Be ready for confusion.

    Station yourself at a Welcome Team position. Normally these will be the same positions as Sunday services, but the priorities may be different. For example, there may be ushers who are part of the wedding party who will take care of handing out bulletins, leaving the Welcome Team able to “float” as guides and assistants. If a large number of people are expected, there may also be the need for someone stationed in the parking lot to direct traffic. Depending on the crowd, there may need to be more than one person at a position.

    1. Main entrance doors (greet and assist)
    2. [if a large number attend] Parking lot (direct traffic)
    3. Area near the sanctuary side doors and front entrance (greet, assist, and direct; some people may need directions to the Fellowship Hall)
  • The Welcome Team at Community Events

    Community events are a chance to show Mt. Zion as a community of fellowship.

    People will be coming as guests who have never been to Mt. Zion for worship, or even in a church at all. If they have a good impression of Mt. Zion when we host events such as Holy Heat or the Crab Cake Dinners, they may be curious enough to visit us on Sunday at a worship service. Their first impressions will be formed by the Welcome Team. The people who host the event will be concerned about getting food ready, so hospitality is up to you.

    Station yourself at a Welcome Team position.

    If the event is in the Fellowship Hall:

    1. Entrance to the Fellowship Hall (greet and point out bathrooms, which can be confusing to guests)
    2. Inside Fellowship Hall (assist guests with finding food areas or finding a table seat)

Want to join our team?

If you’d like to help us make everyone feel welcome at Mt. Zion UCC get in touch with us to join our Welcome Teams.