The key to evangelization: start talking and start inviting

9 thoughts on “The key to evangelization: start talking and start inviting”

  1. Dominic Bruno

    Our parish has 5 weekend Masses. It can be hard to know if someone is a visitor or just going to a different Mass. This is no excuse! If we don’t recognize someone as a parishioner, they are either a visitor (who should be welcomed) or a member of our community (who we should seek to be in relationship with).

    Another obstacle I face is trying to meet someone new after Mass when they are intent on getting out the door as soon as possible. If I sing the last verse of the closing hymn, the person seated in the pew behind me might already be in the parking lot. However, it is my hunch that if people are visitors looking for a home, they won’t be rushing for the parking lot, but instead may be lingering awkwardly, waiting for someone to talk to them.

  2. Dominic Bruno

    Do your parishes use exit greeters–people stationed in the narthex or at the doors waiting to greet people as they leave? I’m thinking this is a different role than those handing out bulletins.

    Wal-mart and other businesses employ workers to greet people as they leave. If they pay someone to do this, it probably is effective.

    My parish doesn’t have greeters (entrance or exit) yet, other than the ushers, though I’m working on it.

  3. Our RCIA team is at the door greeting at at least 2 of our 4 masses. We have people assigned as greeters from the parish itself as well. Most really enjoy doing it. Our parish prides itself in being a welcoming parish and part of that is greeting. I had never thought of “exit greeters”, I think I will suggest that to the “greeters” team leader. When weather permits we stand outside the church to greet as well as in the Narthex. With 4 Masses it is a little difficult to know who is a visitor. It is almost like having 4 separate churches.

  4. Great article, and we just talked about this in parish staff.

    HOWEVER, I object to the term “visitor”. People do not come to the parish or to Mass to visit. They come to pray, to worship, to find help, hope, and home, someone who almost looks like they will not bite.

    I am looking for alternative terms: newcomer, new worshipper, new friend, something besides “visitor”.

  5. Gladys Whitehouse

    Our EM’s stand at the door and greet everyone who comes into the sanctuary. However, I’ve come to realize that it takes more than that to be welcoming. We need to talk to the person next to us in the pew. When that person is a stranger, it’s more intimidating to do.

    We do begin liturgy by first standing and introducing ourselves to those around us but can’t engage in conversation then. We all need to be more inviting! Thanks for this “key to evangelization”!

  6. the best time to make a visitor to feel warm and welcome is as the moment of the peace. give he or she a warm shake hand, make them to feel as a part of your family.

  7. Karin Frederickson

    I am currently the DRE and have lived in our parish community for over 30 years and I still do not know everyone! How do other parishes distinguish non-parishioners/visitors? Are they asked to stand? Nametags? Just curious how others handle this?

  8. Pingback: Adult Faith Formation: General Resources : St. Joseph Educational Center

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