5/25/07

Less is sometimes more when it comes to hospitality

The other day a young couple talked to me about their experience as newcomers to Horizons. One of the things they loved was that we did not ask everyone to stand up and greet those around them. When that moment comes in churches they've been to, they cringe. It seems so artificial. They hate having that expectation put on them to exchange meaningless pleasantries with people who may or may not talk to them later.

It's been a few years since we stopped doing the "stand up and greet those around you" gig. There was a great deal of complaining from the Horizons' regulars, because we really enjoy this time. We like having the excuse to give a warm welcome to people we don't know, especially to newcomers. But we stuck to our guns and let it drop, because our guests dreaded it.

The only benefit to stand-and-greet time was that it made us feel more welcoming.

We've even dialed down the enthusiasm of our greeters at the door. We used to have too many hand-shakers lined up. It got so bad that even some of our regular worshipers at Horizons began looking for alternate entrances into the building so they could avoid the phalanx of smiling greeters.

People seem to appreciate it a lot more now when a member of our Host Team simply opens the door for them into the building, when a lanyard-wearing person asks if they can guide them to the children's classes or nursery, when a sincere individual sees them in the worship center before the service and sits down to meet them and get to know them for a few minutes.

What's better than just being genuine?

5/17/07

Back on the saddle again

I saw in the paper today that tomorrow is National Bike to Work Day, and this is National Bike to Work Week, and May is National Bike to Work Month. Okay, okay, I get the hint. (Here's a link to the article.)

It was a bit chilly when I started out this morning, but with the jacket I was fine. The only thing that was cold when I arrived at the office was my ears.

I biked to the gym Monday--beautiful day but a little breezy.

I'm not much of a recreational cyclist. For me it's more about having a healthy alternative to driving my car, especially with gas prices over $3.