Your church’s foyer sets the tone for everyone attending Sunday services. How you stage the foyer can make or break the way newcomers feel about your church. It can also affect regular members’ feelings about their church community.
First impressions are important, especially when someone is searching for a new church. When they walk in the door, they need to see all the reasons why they should choose your church. Attending a new church can be overwhelming and scary, so make sure that your foyer’s presentation can help ease new members' anxiety.
We’ve put together some great ideas to help you turn your poorly used foyer into a friendly space focused on fellowship and community building. Read on for actionable tips you can put into practice today!
1. Serve coffee, tea, juice, and snacks.
Sure, this is an added expense each week, but really - who doesn’t love to be greeted by a hot cup of coffee, a blueberry muffin, and a smiling face? Food is comfort and hospitality. By offering a token of your appreciation for their attendance, you’ll immediately start off the new relationship on the right foot.
Plus, drinking and snacking requires lingering. Getting someone to stick around to talk to you is always great for building a new relationship.
2. Offer comfy seats for chatting and activities for kids.
To go along with offering tasty snacks, you’ll also need to invite newcomers to have a seat. Add a box of wooden puzzles and Bible-themed coloring books, and parents will immediately know how much you care. Then they will talk to church members, enjoy the warmth of your fellowship, and instantly have a great impression of your church.
For regular members of the church, comfy chairs will allow them to catch up with each other before and after the meeting. If you’ve got two Sunday meetings running, the in-between social hour will be essential for making members feel like they’re still part of the same big community. Community bonding is always a good thing for church sustainability and growth.
3. Staff the foyer with your friendliest, smiliest, and warmest members.
Don’t forget to put people in the foyer! Snacks and chairs are wonderful, but smiling and welcoming faces are even better. Have staff or volunteers hang out before, in between, and after Sunday meetings are over. Make sure they are the bubbly, friendly type so they can make newcomers’ anxiety melt away.
Also choose people who know a lot about your church, your events, and current programs. They can answer questions and lovingly tell a new person all about the history of your wonderful church.
4. Include a ton of important information and flyers in the foyer - show you’re active!
Many church seekers aren’t just looking for a spiritually fulfilling Sunday service. They’re also looking for an active community that will get them out of the house and feeling less lonely. They want to get involved and form a bond with the community.
Make sure to include your church’s flyers, brochures, and other materials in the foyer for people to check out. If your church has a mission project, make sure there’s a staff member there who can tell someone all about it. Invitations to children’s events, Bible study groups, and church holiday celebrations will get newcomers back. And soon!
Friendly, Not Overwhelming
Your foyer is a key piece in your strategy for growing church membership and further developing relationships with existing members. Your friendliness, helpfulness, and accessibility will make everyone feel like your church is the most wonderful place on Earth.
But also remember not to be too overwhelming. Learn to read what people need. Not everyone wants ten bubbly people eagerly walking their way. Some newcomers just want to quietly and slowly check out the church. Don’t chase them away by appearing desperate or by invading their personal space!
Always focus on meeting people where they’re at and finding out what they specifically need. The foyer is one of the best places to do just that. Be kind, be open, and let newcomers and members decide how they want to find community within your church.
When you’re ready to furnish your foyer with comfortable chairs and tables (for the best chat and coffee serving sessions), reach out to Classroom Essentials Online. We offer quality church furniture and would be happy to help you find the right solutions for your needs. You can find us online at classroomessentialsonline.com and by calling (866) 404-7671.