Back to School = Back to Church!
We're three days in to the start of the public school year, and hopefully you're all staring to find your rhythm. Before you know it, pumpkin spice will be everywhere and temperatures will be dropping... wait, maybe not on the temps, but we can be sure that pumpkin will take over the world again!
If this year holds true to the pattern of the last 9 years at Cityview, we'll see a significant increase in the number of people joining us for worship on Sunday morning. That uptick in attendance started this past Sunday with a big crowd at our 9:00am service, and at least 10 families indicated that this was their first Sunday to attend at Cityview! Praise God for bringing more people into the Cityview Family!
As a church we want to make everyone feel welcome and engaged in their experience at the YMCA on Sunday mornings. That's why today I thought I'd shoot out a few suggestions as to how we can all live for others as our church grows this fall. Here you go:
- Arrive a bit early - Try to get a jump on the crowd. We noticed on Sunday morning that at 8:50am, there were very few people in the lobby. But at 8:55am? The lobby was shoulder-to-shoulder and wall-to-wall. If you can arrive by 8:45am to get your kiddos checked in, and move into the gym for worship, that will significantly impact the crowding in lobby. Try to move conversations out of the main walk ways and give others room to move around.
(FYI, our Children's Ministry teams, our Children's Ministry Hosts, and our Greeters and Hospitality teams have ALL committed to being at the YMCA early enough that they are ready to serve you by 8:45am. You'll find a friendly and helpful face in the lobby, and in your kiddos' classrooms by 8:45!)
- Speaking of Check-In, Put Your Sticker on the Bulletin - When that number flashes on the screen during service, it can be a major distraction from what's going on in the room. When three quarters of our congregation have to dig for their sticker and wonder where the put it - pocket, purse, bible, bag, etc - focus slips off of what's happening. Our Children's Ministry Host Team will now help with this BEFORE service ever begins.
When you check in your kids, you'll be encouraged to pick up a bulletin and place your pick-up tag on the front cover of the bulletin - hey! they might even stick it on there for you! That way, when the number flashes on the screen, you know exactly where that sticker is, and since you're already following along on your sermon notes it's quick and easy to verify if that's you or not. Thanks for helping out with this!
- "Park It" with Consideration - Whether you're parking your car in the parking lot, or parking your backside in a chair (HA!), think about how you could bless someone else with the location you choose.
Even if there is a parking space up front, consider how you could leave that spot available for someone else.
In the service, choose seats that are INSIDE seats so our ushers can easily help those who arrive a little after the start of service find a spot. You can also consider moving all the way across the gym to sit in the sections on the right, farthest from the door, thus freeing up seats nearest the door for ushers to help people find a seat quickly.
- Introduce Yourself to Someone New - Okay, since you're now arriving early and leaving seats close to you, you'll likely have someone new sit next to you. Be sure to make an effort to genuinely welcome them into service and introduce yourself! One of the greatest things we can do to help others connect is to make sure they feel connected!
We have such a friendly congregation, this is a no-brainer, and very natural for us.
That's it! Just four simple suggestions on how we could make the experience of Sunday morning at the YMCA welcoming and friendly for all who visit.
What would you add to this list? Have I missed anything? How did you feel most welcomed to Cityview when you first visited?
For Him and for others...