Visitors are an integral part of any church or youth ministry.
If we think about it at some point in our lives each and everyone of us was a “visitor” at a church until we chose to make it our home. That being said, we believe visitors are essential and connecting with them is our top priority. We have found that the easiest way to do this is through a visitors lounge.
The visitors lounge is a designated place where leaders can meet visitors over snacks and a cup of coffee.
At Fusion, we see our visitors lounge as one of the primary connection points in which new people get to hear about the youth. These lounges create key moments that allow our leaders to connect on a personal level, impart vision, as well as answer any questions a visitor may have. If the saying about first impressions is indeed true, then this is a very key area.
What follows is a small look into how we run our visitors lounge.
Organization of the team:
Note: You will find that most of our teams follow the general mold set out in the “How we do: Involvement” article.
The above image isn’t meant to be hierarchical in anyway. This image merely serves as a tool that I felt would aid in the explanation. Here we go.
“Visitors Lounge Captain” – This person is in charge of administrating the whole team. The captain normally recruits people and gets them involved, as well as puts together rosters and carries vision. He/She mainly works with the “Team Leaders” concerning the overall vision, how to train etc.
“Team Leaders” – Each individual team has their own “Team Leader”. This leader provides training, help and guidance to the rest of the team and usually runs a 15min induction with their team at the beginning of a term. This creates a moment to explain how the team runs and also helps in avoiding future confusion.
The “Team” – The team itself normally consists of 5 people including the “Team Leader”. In order for this team to function effectively, it’s important that the members of this team are quite relational and enjoy meeting new people.
“Rostering” – Each team is rostered once a term for two weeks. This equals a team being rostered four times a year.
Here is a practical look at how we would run this team on any given evening.
At the end of a youth service, as we are doing announcements, we normally welcome any visitors who may have joined and tell them we’d love to meet them. At this point the team stands up and the announcer asks if they wouldn’t mind raising their hand as we’d love to give them something. The team of 5 then circles the auditorium handing out this ticket.
Once the service ends, the team leads the visitors to the “Visitors Lounge”. From here they connect, grab something to drink, chat about different areas of Involvement and different Connect Groups whilst allowing the visitor to fill out a visitors card. If they are keen to get involved or join a Connect Group, they get introduced the respective person that same night. This allows for immediate communication and exchanging of numbers which creates less work ahead.
From there we give the visitors a booklet to take home that further welcomes them, explains more about who we are and how they can get involved.
And we’re done!