Every church, large or small, has to properly handle budget, time and volunteers, and continue to decide how to use those resources to impact their members and their community.
What if there was a simple change that your first impressions team could make this Sunday that would double to triple the probability that someone will be back next weekend?
What if that change was FREE and took absolutely no time at all?
Here it is: Remind your team to smile.
It may sound primitive, but it is interesting how quickly we can get focussed on our specific task of holding a welcome sign, or helping a new family check in, or refilling the coffee that we forget to smile. We may truly be having a great time and excited to be there, but we’re so focussed that our face doesn’t show it.
The power of a smile
- According to a study performed in Scandinavia, it’s easy to frown at someone who has a neutral expression, but almost impossible to frown when looking at someone who is smiling.
- Forcing yourself to smile improves your mood (even if you’re in a bad mood)
- Smiling is contagious. If you smile, those around you will begin to smile.
- Smiling releases endorphins – the chemical in your brain that helps relieve stress
- (read about 15 benefits of smiling here…)
Consider the chain reaction of smiling
You choose to smile, so you’re in a better mood > Smiling is contagious, so the people you are welcoming to your church start to smile > Smiling releases endorphins which reduces stress, so your guests are more relaxed at your church
How can you encourage your first impressions team to remember to smile?
- Remind your team: After you meet as a team and pray, have a 10-second smile. It may seem awkward at first, but it’s only going to take a few seconds for people to start to chuckle at each other’s smile. It’s contagious and sets the atmosphere as you go to your team positions.
- When you’re roaming around and helping your team, remind them to smile, and be smiling yourself.
- Have a ‘smile reminder’ – If you’re wearing name tags, tell your team that when they see someone else’s name tag, to do a self-check if they’re smiling. Every time you see a name tag, think to yourself “Am I smiling?”
- If you don’t wear tags, pick something else as a ‘smile reminder.’ For the parking lot team, maybe it’s headlights. Every time you see headlights, think to yourself “Am I smiling?” or for kids check-in, every time you put a check in sticker on a kid, think to yourself “Am I smiling?”
Smiling won’t cost any time, money or put a strain on your volunteers, but it will make a big impact for your guests!