Greeters and Doorkeepers – God’s Called Agents of Connection & Love

by Jim on November 20, 2013


Ministry Encouragement Podcast – Episode #073 – 11-20-13

Your Host: Rev. Jim W. Hollis / Sponsored by: Proactive Ministries (

Greetings again this week to our podcast guests, regulars and our community.  It is a great joy and blessing to have you take your time and share in this experience with me.  It’s my prayer that by listening to this today your life and relationships will be blessed.

Today I want to give you a little addendum to our last Episode #072, addressing “The Holidays Test of our Faith” and just add some thoughts about what we will be facing as we gear up for this busy time. 

Also my main topic of this podcast is:

Greeters and Doorkeepers – God’s Called Agents of Connection & Love

One of the weakest or missing links in any congregation building new relationships with those who attend worship services is in the ministry area of Greeters’ Ministry.  Some churches that really need eight to ten Greeters may have two and they basically say, “Hello” to everyone who approaches the front entrance.

In several conversations with Pastors in which I asked them, “How many Greeters to you presently have on Sundays?” the answer was, “About 30 people help with that – I’ve told them if they will do it faithfully two times a year we will have it covered. That’s all you would need to commit to.”

Nothing could be more off the mark.  That’s not Greeters’ Ministry – that’s slot-filling in a way that clearly communicates, “This is a needed task that someone needs to be doing and so I’ve worked it out so you only have to do this mundane thing twice a year.” 

The history of Greeters is ancient.  In both the Old and New Testaments this was an honored and important office of ministry in the midst of worship.  Across the past 30 years in many churches we have let this slide with great cost to the quality of our hospitality.  It has been a major contribution to the erosion of authentic relationship initiation and follow though with those whom God has sent.

In Psalm 84:10 we find the words, “I would rather be a Doorkeeper in the house of my God than to live in the tents of wickedness.”

In Ezra 7:24, laity on the worship team of that day are listed.  And among the Priests, Levites, Singers and Temple Servants in that list – are those called, “Doorkeepers.”

Then in the New Testament, in the Gospel of Mark “Doorkeepers” are referred to again in Mark 13:34: “Doorkeepers, be on the watch.”

This was clearly a very important ministry leadership position – revered far more than in today’s time and American Church Culture.  Saying “HI” to everyone who enters the doors is only a tiny part of that ministry – not the majority of the job description!

And because of the decline of the sacredness of prioritization of this ministry role, we slipped into referring to those who come to join us as “Worship Visitors” rather than “Worship Guests.” Worship Guests are persons whom God has Divinely led to our church for any given worship service or group at a particular time.  This is a Holy Spirit led happening – not a coincidence of someone just casually thinking, “We’re bored today.  Let’s just go visit a church.”

Maybe you caught that phrase, “Those to whom God has sent” and paused to think it over a bit.  Yes!  Those who God has sent to our church on any given Sunday for any given gathering, be it worship or Sunday School or Small Groups.

Over the last few decades we have referred to the people God sends to our church as “Worship Visitors.”  Church Growth experts have written much about focusing on our “First Time Visitors” in very specific ways.  Rather than prioritizing First Time Visitors, we want to prioritize ALL new relationships and going deeper in existing relationships.

Now, let’s consider in greater depth and holiness the Ministry of Greeters in local churches today.  Here are ten ministry principles and strategies we can use to either create or ressurrect a powerful, agape-love-based Greeters’ Ministry in our churches:

  1. Our Greeters will be spiritually recruited and answer the ministry invitation to serve in this ministry because they feel called by God to love others.
  2. The Pastor or another spiritual leader on the Nominations Committee should have shared a spiritual vision with them in person – of their serving as Greeters consistently and passionately is something of equal importance to any other Leaders involved with the Worship experiences of the church.
  3. They are being invited to do this ministry with excellence, prayerfully and in a consistent time commitment – every Sunday (if possible) for a minimum of 12 Sundays, preferably year round.
  4. The Ministry of Greeting should be one of (if not their top) major priority ministries they serve in at church.  It will require personal prayer preparation, risk in initiating new relationships & strengthening acquaintances, and making careful notes of who they met and shared with so this can be communicated to others.
  5. They will not only seek to discover the names and some of the “story” of Worship Guests, but will also make note of this and personally introduce them to someone who will be attending worship for the upcoming service.
  6. They will never blame others not fully filling out the Attendance Pad as an excuse for not learning the Worship Guests’ names and some of their “story” – gathering enough information to make a relational connection.  (More than Hi and Bye).
  7. They will summarize information on new and existing relationships in the church and share this in a weekly way with the Pastor and one other Leader who will process and personally respond to this information.  (NO more form letters, please!)
  8. They will pray for God to send Worship Guests that belong to God to our church that they may be personally befriended, loved and cared for when they are present as well as finding ways for our Leadership to personally connect with them going forward.
  9. They will consistently pray and discern who among the membership of the church may become wonderful, called by God Greeters going forward.  They will work hard to see that the Greeters’ Ministry becomes one of excellence, great relationship building and ministry transformation of lives.
  10. They will work consistently and diligently to be certain that Worship Guests experience our church as “a group of Christians who are serious about making friends” rather than simply “being friendly to guests who attend.”

Are the Ten Principles and Strategies I shared intense?  Yes!  And I won’t apologize for that.  Do they require Divine power and spiritual discernment to be done with excellence in a consistent way?  Absolutely yes – and we should communicate that without reservation.  Will lay people choose to step up and be part of something this intense and time intensive?  Yes!  IF we can share the spiritual vision and spiritual priority of this ministry along with its actual, enormous potential to transform lives for Christ.

Come on Pastors, Leaders and members of local churches.  We are called to take the Worship Guests of God whom God will entrust to OUR care seriously.  If God sends them and we ignore them or minimally act friendly toward them – then we have failed to the be church that God intends for us to become.

Our ministry (Proactive Ministries) offers to lead an entire weekend training experience on Worship Hospitality for your church.  In this extensive and highly motivational training, we address what is in this Podcast and much more.  We talk in depth about Worship, Greeters, Ushers, Sanctuary Servants, Exit Greeters, Worship Teams, and Trustees. 

This Worship Hospitality Training takes place on a Friday through a Sunday in your local church or in a combination of two or more churches doing this together on Friday – Saturday and having one or more Proactive Staff in your respective church on Sunday morning to teach and/or preach. 

If you are interested in this, please contact me personally and we can discuss your specific church and possibilities of how this could happen in your church OR a group of churches together in your area.  My contact information is below:


Rev. Jim W. Hollis, contact information:

Ministry Offices of Proactive Ministries: (USA) – (770) 444-9348


LinkedIn: Jim Hollis

Facebook: Jim W. Hollis OR LIKE our Page: Proactive Ministries PAGE

Until our next time together please know that you are appreciated, loved and prayed for by me and our ministry Staff.  We also covet your personal prayers for us to be able to see our ministry grow, move forward and reach people for Jesus Christ – some inside the walls of the churches and others beyond the walls of our churches.



Rev. Jim W. Hollis, Executive Director of Proactive Ministries




{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: