One thing that's been brought to the forefront of my mind in the past few years, is the absolute importance of being warm and friendly to everyone who walks in the doors.
You don't have to be wearing the little 'Greeter' badge on your chest in order to greet someone before or after church services. In fact, I'd contend that it has more impact on a visitor if you are NOT wearing one. They expect the ones wearing the badge to say 'hello'. It's their job, after all - and they should. They are greeters for a reason, to make people feel welcome, and it's a vital ministry. Without official greeters a church can be a daunting, cold place for visitors.
But those who aren't wearing badges can't give themselves a pass either. We need to be friendly. Don't pretend to be bubbly if that isn't your personality, but don't sit and do nothing, either. Come out of your comfort zone, come out of yourself, and make someone feel like it's ok that they came to church that day.
I know of several people who are in our church right now simply because members were friendly to them when they were visitors.
Some of them stayed because of that friendly welcome, and because they stayed they got saved.
No one wants to shake hands
with a prickly cactus!
If someone is different than you, smile and shake their hand. You might just find they're not so different from you after all.
If someone looks completely confident and at ease in this new place, smile and shake their hand. You might just find that they're wondering where to go and what to do, not at all so assured as they seem.
If someone looks down in their luck, or scary to you, smile and shake their hand. You might just find that they're someone who needs a drink of water.
"And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward." Matthew 10:42
Show love, and Jesus is the One who will reward you.