Are You Ready for Visitors?
We all love having visitors come to our Deaf Ministries! It is exciting and refreshing to see new people. Whether it is a person you have never met or someone you have been inviting to church for years, few things are as great as a new face at church. However, if we are not ready for visitors, we could miss out on an opportunity to minister to that person, both now and into the future. We must ask ourselves, are we ready for visitors?
I have been asking myself this question recently. In many areas, the answer was “no.” Our biggest issue is that the Deaf Ministry was difficult to find. Our Deaf Ministry meets in an area of the church that, if you came on a Sunday afternoon (when we have Deaf Church) you would not be able to easily find us. I tried telling people where to go, but it really was not reasonable to expect people to remember to “go to the second parking lot, look at the middle building, go between the middle and right buildings and go in the first door on the left.” It scares me to think of how many people possibly left because they couldn’t find us.
To solve this problem, I invested in some banners and signs to help make us easier to find. This situation got me thinking. I started to wonder if there are other areas where Deaf Ministries (and other ministries as well) are not ready for visitors. Ask yourself these questions to see if you are ready for visitors.
- Can visitors find us? This was the big problem we were having. New people coming to our Deaf Ministry were not able to find us. It was also frustrating trying to tell people where to go when they arrived at church. We need to make it as easy as possible for people to find us. If not, they might leave and never come back.
We need to make it as easy as possible for people to find us. If not, they might leave and never come back.
- Do we expect visitors? You need a plan for what to do if a visitor arrives. It ought to be simple. Have visitor packets ready with information about the church and an information card for them to fill out. When visitors come, hand them a packet and welcome them to your ministry. When a visitor shows up, it should not elicit it a “WOW, A VISITOR!” reaction. You and your team should have a plan in place and expect visitors to come!
- Do we welcome visitors? It can be far too easy to turn visitors away with a bad attitude. An insensitive word or action can really turn someone off from your church or Deaf Ministry. Rather than expanding on this point here, I want to encourage you to read “Ten Things You Should Never Say to a Guest in a Worship Service” (the comments on that post are also insightful) and “Seven Things Church Members Should Say to Guests in a Worship Service.” Both of these articles have a great deal of crossover to Deaf Ministry, and I believe you will appreciate them.
It’s important to make sure that you are actually ready for your visitors! Opportunities will come, and you need to be ready to seize those opportunities and put your best foot forward.
How have you seen ministries and churches fail to be ready for visitors? Share your thoughts here.