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Guidelines for Greeters, Hosts and Hostesses

Guidelines for Greeters, Hosts and Hostesses
By Jackie Johnson and Pansy Hayes

I. Public relations – Our number one goal. We do not assume that people know everything. They will ask questions. You are the bureau of information though you may not have realized it.

1. Be friendly and courteous. Remember, you are the first impression visitors will receive of our church body.
i. You may stand together on one side of the door, or one at each side. At the very busy doors, it is probably better for one to stand on each side.

2. Suggested greetings. “Good morning, God bless you.” “Welcome to Peoples Church.” “Glad you could attend Peoples Church.” You may have greetings that are more suitable for you.

3. Dress conservatively. Men should wear coats and ties, and ladies wear appropriate dress or suit.

4. Please do not chew gum. It detracts from appearance and makes a poor impression.

5. Do not try to shake hands with a purse on your arm. Leave purse and Bible in safe-keeping, not in a pew unattended.

6. Wear your name badge. Visitors and members like to know your name.

7. Everyone needs a bulletin. If there are no ushers at your door, please get bulletins and pass them out. (The head usher may not realize there is no usher at your door, and if advised, can give you the bulletins.)

8. Remind visitors of our excellent nursery for 0-24 months, also Sunday School classes and child care, two years through kindergarten. Available through the second service. Sunday school classes available for all ages. Guides will escort parents and visitors to nursery and classes.

II. Time Schedule

1. Be at your door 30 minutes before service starts. Many arrive early and all should have a warm handshake and friendly greeting. If some have arrived before you and are seated on your aisle, go down and make them welcome before you stand at the door.

i. The 10:45 greeters should try to be at your doors by 10:20. It will be easier for you to get to your door through the crowded concourse, and you can be greeting those gathered there.

2. Go to your seats in the sanctuary during the last verse of the first song. An usher may escort you.

3. Opening and closing the doors. Chimes played by the organist will announce arrival of thePastors on the platform. If ushers are not at your door, close the doors and stand outside. Explain to people waiting that it will be just a few minutes while the pastor reads the scripture and prays. Open the doors as soon as prayer is over. (If ushers are available to close the door you may stand inside the sanctuary.)

III. Baptism

1. Remain at your door when baptism is begun (Sunday nights). Close the doors and remain outside until the baptism service is over. Explain diplomatically to late-comers that this is a spiritual service and we try to keep it as quiet as possible. Be firm, and nice.

IV. Accidents and Illness

1. Familiarize yourself with location of phones and how to use them.

i. Phones are on the walls, both East and West concourses, at the rear of the sanctuary, near the choir door entrance. Also there is one opposite Door #6.

Dial “0” for the switchboard operator. Dial “9” for an outside line.

Use the phone to tell switchboard operator the need for help, for a sick person or one who has fallen. She will page the head usher or the building superintendent. Of course, you will give the location of the person needing help.

2. Familiarize yourself with location of restrooms.

i. Both men’s and women’s restrooms are on the East and West concourses, across from the choir door entrances. Also, behind the music suite, East side (women’s) and West side (men’s).

3. Try to assist anyone who falls. Get the name and have someone go to the phone immediately and contact the operator as directed above. If the person needs to be helper! to the restroom, do whatever you can to help. A wheelchair is available if needed, which the head usher or building superintendent can get.

V. Substitutes

1. Try to notify your greeter-coordinator at as soon as possible. If you know you won’t be there, try to contact your coordinator by Thursday. Feel free to call in case of an emergency even if it is Sunday morning. The board is open at 8:30, and the operator will take a message and see that the greeter-coordinator gets it. The message can be sent to the tape table. Give complete information as to your name and door number.

2. You will be kept advised of the name and phone number of the current greeter-coordinator.

3. If you have a phone or address change, please notify your greeter coordinator at once!

4. Substitutes: If you will be unavailable for several Sundays, please notify greeter-coordinator so she will not try to contact you.

VI. Greeter Guides

1. Your duties will consist of standing in the main foyer where you will assist people with the following:

i. Helping people find their Sunday School rooms.
ii. Escorting mothers to the nursery area to leave babies.
iii. Helping people find restrooms, reception area, etc.
iv. Answering questions or giving information about Sunday School, Family Night, etc.

VII. “How-To” for Hosts and Hostesses only.
1. Hosts and hostesses will greet at Door “A”, which is at the foot of the stairs at the main doors. Stay at your position until after the offering has been taken and the soloist has sung. Check the concourse to see if people are waiting to enter the sanctuary. (This happens from time to time after ushers and greeters have left their posts.) Pass out bulletins to those waiting.

2. It can be difficult to ask people to wait to enter the sanctuary during the early remarks and prayer by a pastor, as it may not be possible to hear the chimes signaling the pastors’ arrival on the platform. Watch the greeters at doors 5 and 7 to see when their doors are opened and closed. Suggest to waiting late-comers that they wait to be seated, even though they prefer to proceed up the stairs.

3. After the soloist has finished, be seated right or left of Door 6. From this point you can see much of both concourses.

4. People continue to arrive, many of them first-time visitors. Hosts and hostesses will welcome them, give them a bulletin, and show them where to sit. They should be sent upstairs, unless unable to climb the stairs. Then, seat them at the back of the sanctuary. (Hosts check with ushers before sermon starts for available seats in last 3 rows, doors 5, 6, 7.)

5. Encourage wandering children to return to their Sunday School class or the church service. If they do not cooperate, you may have to contact one of the ministers to youth. Do this by contacting the switchboard operator, or have the host locate the minister. Be tactful but firm, remembering to use good public relation.

6. Children or adults who leave during the service (sermon) should be asked to seat themselves in the rear of the sanctuary if they wish to re-enter.

7. Familiarize yourselves with locations, room numbers and kinds of classes available during your service, as well as names of teachers. You will receive this information for your use. Advise those with small children of the excellent nursery facilities.

8. Remember that a first-time visitor does not know which door to open. That, along with other reasons is why Pastor and Mrs. Johnson decided to use the services of hosts and hostesses to work as greeters after the greeters and ushers have left their posts.

VIII. Information Center

The Information Center is located beneath the stairwell in the front foyer.
The Information Center is to be served by a greeter couple. There will be a typewritten sheet placed on the counter every Sunday with pertinent information concerning the activities of the week.

This article “Guidelines for Greeters, Hosts, and Hostesses” written by Jackie Johnson and Pansy Hayes is excerpted from The People’s Church.

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