08 October 2009

Why Do We Do That? — special greetings to visitors

by Dan Phillips

Isn't it kind of funny that, in the announcements, we give a special greeting to visitors? We say, "And especially if you're here for the first time, we want to give you a special greeting"?

Why do we do that?


Shouldn't we at least occasionally say
“If you're here for the first time, we want to give you a warm and friendly greeting, and we hope you'll stay, let us serve you with love in Christ's name; and we hope you'll come to serve with us.

“If you come here regularly, week after week, have committed yourself to this ministry in membership and service, have put your hand to the plow with us, and support this local work of God with your prayers, your time, your labor, and your gifts, we want to give you a special greeting. We'll never take you for granted!”
Wouldn't that make sense?

Dan Phillips's signature

110 comments:

SermonFire said...

Dan, don't you know that the visitors are the people that should matter most in a church?

duh.

sheep, schmeep.

and I've always wanted to do this.

First.

Tom Chantry said...

QUIT BEING LOGICAL!

Jason said...

Unless those who come regularly ARE the church and the welcome is being given on behalf of the church.

Your statement could easily come across as the clergy's message to the laity. Not the mentality we want to have.

greglong said...

I'm a regular reader of this blog. Do you have a special greeting for me?

DJP said...

Yes, Greg. Thanks for reading. We appreciate loyal, regular readers. Without you, it'd just be us and our ham radios.

DJP said...

Yes, Greg. Thanks for reading. We appreciate loyal, regular readers. Without you, it'd just be us, our ham radios, and our little purple mimeographs.

SandMan said...

Q: What's the difference between a greeting and special greeting?

A: Special greeting includes take this packet, give us your personal information, and prepare to be mailed, visited, and phoned until you are assimilated.

Joking of course... though I have been at churches that do this.

Al said...

Yes, by all means validate the members of your Church. The pot lucks, the fellowships, the Psalm sings (for the really reformed), the Church work days, and the regular pastors visits are not enough.

Perhaps the pastor could give them a secret wink too.

al curmudgeonly sends

DJP said...

That's right, Al. Because it's unspiritual to express appreciation for devotion, loyalty, sacrificial service.

Tom Chantry said...

Greg got a special greeting. Twice. I didn't. I'm offended, and I'm never reading this blog again.

DJP said...

Tom, you know perfectly well how folks will respond to that, coming from you. I know how folks will respond to that, coming from you. I know you know how folks will respond to that, coming from you.

I'm starting to think it's a cry for... well, you know.

And you know I know you know.

Tom Chantry said...

You're right. I take it back. Don't anybody get any funny ideas.

Joshua drove out the Hivites, the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, but I will drive out the Huggerites.

Al said...

Meh... If I have an opportunity to host visitors in my home, I teach my children to deny themselves and serve those who are not normally in our presence. My kids get hugs, kisses, love and various other displays of affection on a regular basis, the presence of strangers in our midst is an opportunity to sacrifice and kill the fatted calf for them.

al sends

DJP said...

Ah. So, Al, you see it (in contrast to my post) as an either/or?

So perhaps you should propose a third version of the greeting. Something like this.

“If you come here regularly, week after week, have committed yourself to this ministry in membership and service, have put your hand to the plow with us, and support this local work of God with your prayers, your time, your labor, and your gifts, we want to help you make sure you're doing it only for God. So our way of helping is that we will ignore you, take you for granted, put high expectations on you in your service of this assembly, but showing you none of the graces of love, gratitude, or 'honor to whom honor.' We are far more afraid of you serving for mixed motives than we are of giving you reason to feel ignored, neglected, or taken for granted.”

Would that work better?

Al said...

Actually Dan, you asked "why do we do that?" I assumed that you put the other up as a way to contrast the convention.

So, my answer to “why” would be: The Gospel.

(I know that sounds smug and strikingly similar to “like ministry,” but there it is)

al sends

DJP said...

So you see it as "Gospel" to punish loyal service with indifferent smugness. Interesting.

DJP said...

This is actually giving me an idea for a post that would tie together both this one and the previous post. Weird, huh?

We'll see.

Al said...

Saying “the Gospel” sounds smug; showing the congregation that denying themselves for the benefit of others is not smug. But, I think you knew that is what I meant.

Oh, and how is recognizing visitors in a “special” way showing indifference to those offering loyal service? If the pastor needs that time to show appreciation for those who serve the Church he may need to spend more time in their homes. Of course that would involve sacrifice on the pastor’s part.*

al sends

*not saying that anyone here avoids such sacrifice.

David Rudd said...

i think Al's point is well-taken. if the Sunday gathering is the central contacting point for the pastor and the members, a bigger problem exists than what to do with the welcome...

and if the pastor NEEDS the sunday gathering to enable his members to FEEL loved and appreciated, same problem.

otherwise, i agree with Dan.

stratagem said...

As a marketing professional, I can tell you that almost every marketing organization treats new customers better than old ones, to land their business. The exception is old customers who are large revenue generators.

I think that is also the philosophy behind the practice of special greetings for visitors.

DJP said...

Al, I think you're a good guy. You did read my post, didn't you? All 148 words? Where am I suggesting that we not extend a warm welcome to visitors? How could anyone get that impression from the post?

What it's about is saying "and if you're here for the first time, we give you a special greeting." Particularly if there's a mentality that might suggest unconsciously supplying "...and if you're a regular, you're pretty much on your own. Best of luck!"

Your point about the pastor spending time in folks' homes is an EXCELLENT one. Baxter left me black, blue, and bloodied — and, I hope, abidingly changed — on that issue.

DJP said...

stratagem - pithy.

David - I also agree with Al; and it is completely beside the point of the post. EXCELLENT point, just unrelated.

SandMan said...

My pastor always greets me and the congregation on Sundays. He says, "Good Morning." And we all say in return, "Good Morning."

Makes me feel special.

After that, he can greet whomever he wants.

Seriously though David Rudd's last comment is a good one. If I were anxiously awaiting some greeting from my pastor and it was haphazardly given to a visitor, I might be upset... Until I realized that the pastor greets me at the men's bible study weekly, and calls when we are sick, or when my wife was in the hospital with the newborn babies, or he picks up the phone when we need counseling for one reason or another. I don't think anyone's getting jilted. There's plenty of greetings for everyone.

Al said...

Dan, I hope you know that I think you are a good guy too. Much admiration from this end toward you and your blog kin...

I did read the post, a few times now, and I think what set me off on this rather innocuous post was the way you couched the practice of greeting visitors as “funny.” I think the “special” part of the visitor greeting is in keeping with our being light and salt and to take the opportunity to lift up the loyal members’ presence as “special” gets that wrong.

It just seems to me that our greeting of strangers ought to be peculiar as it expresses true joy that they are with us. Not so that they can increase our number, our tithe or our standing at the local association meeting, but that they might know we are here to serve them, if only for a day.

I will now return to my normal position at your feet.

al sends

David said...

This post sounds like Andy Rooney.

DJP said...

Oh, Al, stop! lol

But see, both of my proposed versions include a warm greeting to the visitors. I'da thought that would make it clear that I'm not objecting to greeting visitors warmly, per se. I'm asking why, week after week after month after year, they get a special greeting, while the folks who do the heavy lifting get... to watch the visitors get a special greeting.

Of course, all sorts of variables can come into play, either making my point negligible, or making it pointed and critical.

David - fair enough.

David Rudd said...

and, Dan, another reason you're right (I'm sure you're thinking this already).

how a pastor greets his family on a Sunday morning is very instructive for the "guests" who are observing.

Respectabiggle said...

"The Church founders without the ballast of "average Christians".


- Nicolas Gomez Davila

DJP said...

Many seem to assume the pastor's doing the greeting. I just note that, no comment.

David Rudd, maybe a good thing would be to switch it up. Always greet visitors, give a little love to this or that group of laborers, varying from time to time. Thanks to all of you who come week after week. Thanks to the folks who come in early and set up the auditorium /the chairs / the coffee / whatever. Thanks to the parking lot attendants. Thanks to the folks who greet you all and hand out bulletins. Whatever.

Kinda like the end of Paul's letters to churches, maybe.

Al said...

(note to self... dan loves him some visitors)

:-)

al sends

DJP said...

Yes, Al, let's be clear on that. The record will show, Dan is in favor of visitors, and loving on visitors.

Also.

Not instead of.

You're now my Communications Director for the Day.

Tom Chantry said...

Al, Dan. Don't you two dare embrace! I'm keeping an eye on you!

neur0n said...

David-
First time I read through "how a pastor greets his family on a Sunday morning is very instructive for the "guests" who are observing."
I read "his family," i.e. wife, kids. . .
Or, was that your intent? I will comment that in many cases that is a very sad tale. Sunday morning CEOs have little time or tolerance for "distractions."
"Very instructive."

Kyle Mann said...

I think some are framing the question incorrectly: it's not about the "felt needs" of the loyal members, but rather about the pastor's responsibility to show gratitude to them. I know many people at church who pour in dozens of hours a week out of love and a heart of service, yet not one of them would ever expect or demand recognition from the pulpit. Does that free the pastor from an obligation to recognize them? I think not.

I grew up in a church that did the "special greeting." They actually spent about 5 minutes on it at the start of every message. Visitors were also given free coffee, donuts, two CD's, and a book. I tried to disguise myself as a visitor to acquire such things, but to no avail. They recognized me as common folk.

Paul D said...

Dan brought up parking lots, so - I just want to say that loyal members should have spots labeled special and visitors should look for spots like lost sheep.

And I agree with Jason 5:01 AM.

And I'm pretty new here, so I believe that should preclude me from any shredding.

DJP said...

Sgt. Tom Chantry — PDA Police

DJP said...

Kyle, very helpful clarification. Thanks.

Al said...

Kyle, you took away all that you gave in your first paragraph with the second.
---
As much as I think Dan wants the visitors to feel welcome, I want loyal members to feel appreciated. It is just that such appreciation should occur at other times than in the midst of the announcement section of your liturgy. For that matter, the visitors ought to be made to feel welcome at other times as well.

How about this… Get rid of the announcement section entirely, have snacks at the back of the room for the whole gathered assembly (including the common folk), make sure every visitor has an invitation to someone’s home for a meal after the service, go out of your way to thank the guy who cleans the bathroom and the one who picks the dog poop off the sidewalk in front of the building (we had this job in Rota, Spain).

Teach the congregation to expect to die for one another and make that the norm in the life of your Church. If that happened we would all feel special.

al sends

Kyle Mann said...

al-

I thought my second paragraph was truly the highlight. meh.

Craig and Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kendall said...

Just got on and, man, a lot of comments to read through for such a quick post!

In the interest of riding the fence, I agree with both Dan and Al. How's that for taking a stand?

I don't need a special shout out in addition to welcoming the guests on Sunday mornings. I know I am loved and appreciated in a myriad of ways throughout the week and I like that the church focuses the welcome on the guests so that they feel special.

But what about this? By adding Dan's suggested welcome to the faithful servants in the congregation, you not only show appreciation for their service again, you also send an important message to the guests:

Our members serve the Lord faithfully and selflessly. They support one another and work tirelessly for the good of Him who saves. Join us and that's the kind of person you will be discipled to be.

puritanicoal said...

During closing arguments at trial, there is always a lawyer who stands up and tells the jury, "Thanks for showing up and serving on this jury...it's the American way...."

I usually go second in closing, and I like to say, "I'm not gonna thank you for being here, because you are suppose to be here; it's a duty. But, what I will thank you for is your attentiveness during this trial...."

That interchange reminds me of the "special greeting" to visitors. People are suppose to be a part of a church, the church. The fact that they are in church is great, but should we recognize them for doing something they should be doing anyway? Especially when the typical extent of the special greeting is limited to "We're glad you're here. We hope you feel welcome."

I do not have a problem with greeting visitors, and I think it's a good idea to say something to them during a service. But, I've always thought there should be a little more explanation, including a discussion of the Gospel. Otherwise, it seems like we are patting them on the back for just showing up, as though that, by itself, is a good thing.

mike said...

pot stirrage ahead:
is it possible that we do this for much the same reason that, as was stated before, the phone companies used to pay us to switch providers, but none would offer any kind of loyalty bonus?
is it a tiny bit connected to our desire to grow and succeed? i have attended churches where the focus was clearly on the "harry and Mary" who do not attend "yet", instead of the current attendees.
not to say that we are to ignore or hate the lost and unknown, just seems that for certain we are to LOVE the brothers. Visitors may be just that, we just don't know yet.

mike

DJP said...

Let's see if this helps anyone who still might not be getting it. Since mostly men are responding, I'll put it like this:

(Other things being equal) Your wife should make you a nice dinner, right?

But she should do it out of love for the Lord, to be pleasing to Him, right?








So you shouldn't ever thank her for it, right?

After all, you don't want her to be doing it for you and be all carnal about it.

Right?

DJP said...

...and if you have a couple over, and the wife brings a dish, you should fall all over her for the great food, while ignoring your wife.

Right?

Rachael Starke said...

Ah yes. The "I told you I loved you when I married you; if anything changes I'll let you know" approach. :)

DJP said...

Exactly, Rachael. Only it's "We told you we loved and appreciated you when you became members, and...."

puritanicoal said...

DJP, great point. Let me take it a step further.

Scenario 1: "Thanks for cooking dinner. It was good." (Repeated every night for 15 years).(Dutifully thanking a duty).

Scenario 2: "Thanks for cooking dinner, I know you were busy with_____ today, and you could have just heated up a Hungry Man instead." OR "Thanks for dinner. You know this is my favorite and the _______ was excellent." etc.

We shouldn't just say to visitors, "Thanks for being here." (Repeated every Sunday for 15 years) But, explain why we are glad they are there, and why it is important.

mike said...

Rachel,
does that mean that even though i mow the grass, change the oil in the car, and throw my dirty clothes in the hamper, my wife could expect/ want more?

mike

Al said...

Dude... mischaracterize much?

You took the appreciation of the regular, committed members and elevated it. Contrasting the "special" greeting the visitors normally get with the "special" greeting that you desire for the members. Heck, even the word count of your thanks to members is greater.

So, if a couple comes to dinner and brings desert you should thank them for the desert, but make sure you complement the taste of your wife's pot roast as something special? Rude.

Please admit that you are wrong so I can stop commenting. I'm a visitor here...

al sends

PS... I take Frank's silence here to mean that he agrees with me.

S.J. Walker said...

I was at a deacon/elder meeting the other day. for some odd reason I volunteered to look into what we have in place for the greeting and appreciation for new visitors/members.

Dan, thanks for this one. I brought up something that had often twinged my conscience but not enough to put a finger on it.

Hadn't commented here in a LONG time. It's good to come by again.

God bless.

DJP said...

Al S, I only have two questions about your last comment:

1. Who are you talking to?

2. What are you saying?

Otherwise, all is clear.

S.J. Walker said...

Correction: "IT brought up something..." NOT "I brought up..."

Please forgive me. Hopefully I speak better than I type.

:)

stratagem said...

OK, how about this as a compromise?

"I want to extend a different (but not special) greeting to our visitors. We hope you enjoy free-riding off of the efforts of those who come here faithfully and pitch in to make this all happen. If you decide to stay and become a member, we will expect you to also pitch in; if you don't want to pitch in, we will supply you with a list of Willow Creek churches in the area that you can attend on a long-term basis."

Greetings,
The members of First Sarcastic Church of Podunk

Al said...

Sorry... my debut as communications director is less than overwhelming...

1. To you, kind sir.

2. Your clarifications.

Though, now that I read them again I think I get what you are saying. Was this a clarification of the intent of your post, and not your interaction with yours truly? If this is so then I withdraw my hasty "Dude."

al sends

DJP said...

strat - kee kee kee

DJP said...

Al S - I'm completely lost.

Where's the Narthex?

Al said...

Dan... I am an idiot.

The Narthex is at puritanicoal's post...

I hate it when my penchant for self destruction gets in the way of my excellent points.

al sends

S.J. Walker said...

Also, has anyone considered that the term "special" can have other connotations?

My sunday school teachers always said I was "special", but I don't think it was the same thing. I think it was more the short bus kind of special.

"Mrs. Walker. We found your son licking the windows again".

"Yes. And?"

Stefan said...

After reading all the comments, I have to go back and say I agree with Jason's 5:01 a.m. and David Rudd's 6:42 a.m. comments.

As the collective body of Christ, should we not welcome new visitors (which I understand is not Dan's issue)? But going by the example of my church, we also have functions throughout the year to show appreciation to church members and ministry volunteers.

drmack said...

I think you're special and I'm special and everyone is special. We should all get a special greeting every Sunday. And maybe a door prize too. At our church we have a guantlet of greeters, each wanting to shake our hand. We don't really have a relationship with them. They have big smiles and offer a happy "welcome" to us as we try to make our way to the sancticafinasium. I wish I could punch them. (did I say that out loud?)

DJP said...

"sancticafinasium"

heh

I like it

Infinitely better than "sanctuary."

Stefan said...

Sometimes, I used to not thank my wife for dinner, when I thought that she would think that I was just doing it out of a sense of duty (which is a fancy way of rationalizing my thoughtlessness.)

That just made things worse. Now I do make an effort to thank her for dinner, and not out of a sense of duty, but because I have a better appreciation for the labour she puts into it.

My verification word is "yrating." Is that, like, family friendly; or for Generation Y only; or a comment by and for Y-chromosome readers?

David said...

Having watched umpteen pastors and elders do this part of the evangelical liturgy umptillion times, I've noticed that most of the time, they're on autopilot. I know this, because they say the same phrase in the same way every week. Do they think the new visitors don't see them shuffling their notes while they're saying it?

How about something like, "Grace to you, and peace from God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ?"

Jugulum said...

"sancticafinasium"

It took me about a minute to realize that wasn't a play on "sanctification".

Steve Scott said...

Why do we do that?

Because we all "grew up" in churches that did it. Maybe we know no other way. Kinda like shaking hands when meeting people.

Hey, let's start a greeting Reformation! Would the radical reformers be called "Anagreeters?"

Stefan said...

"Sancticafinasium" and "anagreeters."

This is the foundry where new words are forged.

But nothing can ever supplant "schmeradactyl."

stratagem said...

What would the Muenster Anagreeters be like?

greglong said...

Since the obligatory mix-and-mingle-handshake-session during the service is often called "The Greeting," maybe we should also make a distinction there...

"If you're greeting a regular attender, give them the regular handshake greeting. But if you're greeting a visitor, give them the extra special fist-bump, hand-explosion, chest-bump (guys only, of course) greeting."

Stefan said...

Stratagem:

They would take over a church, and shake hands with more than one person at once.

stratagem said...

Another variation to consider:

"As a welcome to our visitors, we'd like to classify you. If you are an Arminian, stand up and look to your right. If you are a Calvinian, stand up and look to your left. If a pedobaptist, raise your extended pinky. If a credobaptist, raise a crooked pinky. Premillenial soft foundationalist? Stand on your left foot. Bay of Fundy Fundie or post millennial decisionist? Right foot. If you have no idea what we are talking about and thought you could simply be a Christian, continue to sit with a blank stare on your face..."

Aric said...

Why do we do that?

I think we are trying extra hard to make our congregation feel warm and welcome. I think welcoming all to the gathering is more appropriate. After all, aren’t we all there for the same reason – first timers or not?

What we can get away from is when the special greeting is followed by the dreaded “Take a minute and greet the new guy” torture! (no hugs since Tom is watching :)

Some churches I have attended make such a point of welcoming the newbie that it feels much like when relatives my children are not close to visit, and at the end of the night I have to become a ventriloquist and forcefully tell my children to go give their Aunt Bunny a hug. It should be done, but Aunt Bunny usually knows what is going on, so the affection is not as well received.

Note: I am not saying we don’t have to be reminded to welcome people. Please be gentle with the rebuke as I am relatively new.

Strong Tower said...

"But she should do it out of love for the Lord, to be pleasing to Him, right?"

No, food, just the food. Do it for the sake of eating, Martha! Now get back in the kitchen. Call us when its time to peel the taters.

For everything there is a seasoning. And you know what they say about curry.

I am tempted to say well, that's okay, say what you want, be real. After a few years it will become a Hallmark. On the other hand, I hope people aren't init for what they can give or get, or feel they need to give or get, but just because. Just because I keep your picture on the wall doesn't mean... it's just a silly phase I am going through. I mean that's what we do, right, when things done mean something other than I am not in love?

So I kinda drift toward there is more to a relationship than words. Still, I wonder why Al only sees his kids once a week!

my WV was cohorpoo- Think what you will

S.J. Walker said...

At Stefan 9:12 AM,

Blogger's word verifications have supplied many additions to my "S.J. Walker's Essential Vocabulary, Vol. 1"

Such as:

trobisbo; a spanish sounding word that can be substituted for it's English counterpart, "um".

Truairk; relative to the aardvark if you're an evolutionist, but actually a mysterious creature often seen inhabiting comment threads seeking out opportinuties to shamelessly plug their own blogs

Fourzoid; Another name for a square.

DJP said...

Oh, my. Such a short path to Sillytown.

Can the schmerodactyls be far behind?

S.J. Walker said...

Dan,

Trobisbo, I'm sorry for being such a truairk.

Translation:
Um, I'm sorry for being such a shameless plugger.

In all seriousness, I did appreciate the post and the comments to follow.

In wonder, and this may have been brought up already and I didn't see it, but should we perhaps consider that our responsibility is to greet the BELIEVERS?

Before anyone goes crazy on me, what I mean is, visitors should see a church body that loves it's members not just because they are contribute in some way, but because they are family, beloved of God, and precious. Visiting believers will, due to their own regenerated nature, be drawn to this and membership would be seen as the solemn and precious thing it is, for those who beleive.

Unbelievers would thus be given one more gentle nudge of conviction born of the Gospel's own work in us.

Sir Brass said...

My elders (that includes the pastor) know my name, my circumstances (for the most part), etc., etc. I think that's a special-enough greeting. The new comers can have the special note in the bulletin, they ought to in fact :). They don't automatically know that we are glad that they are there (at least until the pastor's wife gets a hold of them and invites them to stay for lunch =p).

However, I think that's getting away from what Dan's post meant, and is instead validating exactly what Dan said.

Strong Tower said...

SJ-

I could give you a great big holy kiss-

No huggin, that's been banned.

Dan is on to what it means to greet one another with a big no glossalalia smackeroo?

S.J. Walker said...

Strong Tower,

Thanks. I think :)

stratagem said...

Ask a silly question, get a silly answer.

Well I wonder if Jesus said anything similar in his sermon on the mount?

"I'd like to give a special welcome to those visitors who haven't been to this mount before. Blessed are the visitors, for..."

?? I can't see it.

Phil said...

The verse ends "They will get a special greeting"
Everyone knows that.

Paul D said...

it's in the Olivet Discourse:
I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
Matt 25:35

DJP said...

Wellnow.

That's Bibley.

Solameanie said...

Used to be a joke in my circle about mega churches and possible greetings.

Welcome to ***** Community Church. Come on in and get lost.

Sometimes people got mad at me for that joke.

stratagem said...

Actually that saying could work well for Mars Hill (Mich), too. Although probably should be modified to "come on in and remain lost."

MarieP said...

I want whatever stratagem is taking!! ROFL!!!!!

Actually, the second of the three greetings in the original post reminds me of my church's greeting.

The greeting varies, but it starts with "We greet you warmly in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ"

And while we know that the main purpose of the church is for the glory of God, and then the edification of the saints, we also know that there will be non-believers there, and so the greeting will also include something like "If you do not yet know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, our prayer is that before the hour is over, the secrets of your heart will be exposed, and you will cry out that God is of a truth among us."

Now I have the hymn "I greet Thee who my sure Redeemer art" running through my head... :-) HE is the one who should be given the truly special greeting!

Sir Aaron said...

I hate to interrupt the discussion between Dan and Al especially since it's intensely amusing.

I can't say anything about Dan's post...it's clear, concise, and correct. But I do want to clarify with Rachel that the "I told you I loved you when I married you; if anything changes I'll let you know" approach isn't effective? I think I'm in trouble!

Al said...

He left the 99 regular attendees and went to greet the 1 visitor...

and 48 of the regular members felt slighted, mostly nursery workers.

al sends

CR said...

Al: PS... I take Frank's silence here to mean that he agrees with me.

Funny Al, I too take Frank's silence whenever I post something that he agrees with me too. :=)

Jugulum said...

Matt 25:35, eh? Hmm...

"Greet one another with a holy kiss." Romans 16:16a

We'll begin each service with a special greeting to visitors. Then the pastoral staff will go around and give everyone a friendly smack on the cheek.

There, are you all satisfied, now?

Mesa Mike said...

This has been a fun thread today. A special greeting to all the regular members of the Pyromaniacs clamjaphry.

Rachael Starke said...

I've been out taking my youngest on the annual preschool pumpkin patch fieldtrip. She had a great time, but I'm still waiting for the "Oh TankYou Mommy, I WUV you for taking time to take me to a dusty hot farm with a bunch of undisciplined, overdressed four year olds (and their mommies) and let me take overpriced rides on a fake train!!!"



Still waiting.

Mike -

...does that mean that even though i mow the grass, change the oil in the car, and throw my dirty clothes in the hamper, my wife could expect/ want more?

Wasn't sure if that was a genuine question, or a facetious one. :)Not necessarily expect (given that expectations so very often ==>demands==> tears and bitterness :), but definitely appreciate.

Technically, I can "outsource" anything on that list quite legitimately. And technically, he could do those things for another lady in a ministry context and it wouldn't be suspect. I most appreciate it when my husband says or does those things that only he as my husband is eligible to do or say to me as his wife. But I still make it a habit to thank him regularly for the "outsourceable" stuff.

Strong Tower said...

Clamjaphry? Where's the English Muffin when we need her?

Rachael Starke said...

Oh, and Strategem,

I'm also in marketing. And my specialty was creating types of customer loyalty programs designed to make existing current customers feel all loved and cared for si that they would remain loyal to us when competitors came along. Oh, and so that they would, ahem, keep giving us their money.

I haven't had a gig in over two years.

Sir Brass said...

So, pyros, shouldn't you be saying:

"We here at pyromaniacs irresistibly greet you with an elect greeting" :D

danny2 said...

i remember the sunday i said (as i had been for weeks), if you're a guest today, thank you for coming.

as the words came out of my mouth, the thought hit me....thank you for what?

did their presence make our meeting valid?
does their attendance compliment my preaching, which they had not heard yet?

now i tell our church body it is really good to see them, and our guest that we're glad they are here too.

Stefan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stefan said...

I think you're all special.







Very special.

Stefan said...

Especially Dan.

Zaphon said...

Dan...feeling under-appreciated lately??? lol.

Well, in seriousness, I thought of Jesus' words " Doth he thank that servant because he did the things which are commanded him? I trow not"..."say'we are unprofitable servants'" Luke 17:9-10 KJV

Here is MacArthur's notes from his study Bible:

17:10 unprofitable servants. I.e., not worthy of any special honor.

So, if we are unprofitable servants, should we expect to be given special notice, honorary welcomes, and high praise? Doesn't the LORD reward his workers at the proper time?

As I understand it, the new people are especially welcomed to show them the love of Christ in our midst, to connect them with people in our church, and to show hospitality.

Al said...

100 comments on THIS thread?

Bet you did not see that coming Dan.

al sends

DJP said...

I thought it possible. This has been a mulled thought for a good long time. Any discussion of how we do worship - particularly music - tends to get lively.

It was actually a bit more positive, contentful and productive than I feared. Which is a good thing.

Strong Tower said...

We represent the Hospitality Squad... and......... we wish to welcome you to Christian Land.

Combining the greetings and thankyous with the worship songs would be cool.

Well done thou good and faithful servant.

Or is that a jingo for Outback?

Jason said...

i just can't help but wonder... what would Joel Osteen say about this? kidding only kidding...

I think you bring up a great point Dan. What we do at our church is a bit different maybe than some... but not perfect by any means.

We don't make any sort of greeting until the end of the service. I say hello to the congregation as I take the pulpit but that's it. Then once we've concluded the service and the lifting of the name of Jesus in song and word and prayer THEN myself or a deacon comes forward and welcomes guests and always mentions 3 elements
1.) glad to have them with us
2.) we are here to serve and show the love of Jesus Christ as a church and that they need but to call on us if in need
3.) always excited to share the Gospel with another person

we try, not always wonderfully mind you, but try to come off as helpful but also with the understanding that our number one priority is to be sure we've taken them through the Biblical Gospel. If we can do that and meet their needs, we maybe have accomplished something.

The point though is, before I begin rambling too much, is that I try to incorporate the faithful members and such into that greeting as in, letting the visitor know that they can call on any one of us and that we are all eager to serve them out of our love for God..

just my two cents...

Jugulum said...

Dan, I can't imagine anyone getting worked up to a 100+ comment thread over music.

Sir Aaron said...

If we subtract Al's comments and Dan's responses to Al's comments, I bet we're only at 50...

LOL ;)

Verification word "bibili"

Gilbert said...

I have been a member of a megachurch, and my current church which is slightly smaller, about 70 people, and...

This entire thread went over my head.

We welcome visitors, sure, but does anybody do a "special greeting" to visitors? And what do you exactly do?

paulwilkinson said...

There are visitors.

Then there are those who "come here regularly, week after week, have committed yourself to this ministry in membership and service, have put your hand to the plow with us, and support this local work of God with your prayers, your time, your labor, and your gifts..."

But then there's a large middle group that have been around for far too long to be visitors, but not long enough to catch the concept that they should be a part of helping it all come together.

Bernadine said...

It's important to show hospitality to our guests by giving them a special welcome. And for the rest of the congregation that serves,we should always show them love, they will recognize they are valued when we show them how valuable they are on a regular basis!

CR said...

This thread and your "make sense" link made me think of something. If I'm not mistaken, no where in the Pauline letters does he thank individuals for anything. He thanks the Lord for them because their faith is proclaimed and other things related to the faith.

I found that interesting, because we don't know what we're getting with guests or visitors. They could be unbelievers or whatever.