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Provide a Warm and Safe Welcome for Holiday Visitors

During the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, you're likely to see a lot of new faces in the pews. These visitors will be family coming to see their cute little nephew sing in the preschool play or people who choose to attend holiday services. They will want to feel welcome — and safe — no matter what brought them through your door. Here's a four-step plan to make sure you safely connect with your holiday visitors.

  1. Provide Parking Help
    • Ask members to save the best parking spaces for visitors, especially those families bringing small children and senior adults to services.
    • Deploy parking lot attendants to provide assistance and keep everyone moving.
    • Assign parking lot security monitors to thwart theft and vandalism during services.
  2. Make First Impressions Matter
    • Broken curbs and slippery sidewalks can turn visitors off. Assure the entrances to your church are in good repair and cleaned up before every service.
    • Greet visitors as soon as they arrive and help them find their way around. Consider assigning church members to walk with visitors to assure they reach their destination.
    • Assure that all exterior and interior signage is up-to-date and clear.
  3. Take Good Care of Their Babies
    • Assign extra trained volunteers to serve in children’s classrooms to handle the extra visitors during the holiday season.
    • Inform visiting parents of your check-in and pick-up procedure.
    • Alert parents if you will be serving food or drinks in case their child has a life-threatening food allergy.
  4. Practice Preventive Safety
    • Revisit your crisis management plan to assure it is up-to-date and you are ready for unexpected issues such as severe weather.
    • Ensure that your leaders know the location of first aid materials and fire extinguishers.
    • Post a list of emergency phone numbers, including the church’s physical address and a list of individuals in the church who are trained to assist with medical emergencies.

Many of these preventive measures will be invisible to your holiday guests, but they can keep safety concerns from being a distraction during their visit.