How do you welcome new people to your LifeGroup? We love inviting new couples to our LifeGroup. In fact, we may have more room in our hearts for people than we have in our living and dining rooms. Last time we got together, my wife said, “We don’t have enough seating!” My response, “Jesus had no place to lay His head—it’s okay if we don’t have anywhere to put our rear ends.” Turns out we found enough chairs, which is definitely important for welcoming new people to your LifeGroup.
But what else? Well, since your LifeGroup is just the friends you grow, laugh, and serve with, it turns out welcoming new people there is a lot like welcoming any new person to your home or gathering place. Here are nine ways to welcome new people to your LifeGroup.
- Greet them at the door. Yup, it’s simple but important. Also, if you have a pet that wanders the house and you don’t know how your new friends feel about pets, lock them up!
- Introduce yourself and others. Odds are you already met, but if not, introduce yourself. No matter what, shake their hand. It just sends a welcoming message. Also, introduce your new friends to each person/couple in your group individually.
- Be their LifeGroup tour guide. Let your new friends know where the bathrooms are, where they can put their coats, where the food may be, and what you’ll be doing together.
- Let them know what to expect. If possible, reach out during the week before LifeGroup and let your friends know what to expect, how to get to your meeting place, and answer any questions they have.
- Let them leave their shoes on. If you meet in your home, and you have fantastically beautiful floors, you might ask most people to take their shoes off. Well, your new friends are the exception. Odds are they’ll see that you and others are shoeless and follow suit. Otherwise, just bust out the Swiffer after they leave.
- Give them something. Are you meeting at a coffee shop? Maybe offer to buy your new friends’ drinks this week. At a home? Offer to get them something to drink. Have snacks or a meal available when possible. Finally, if you have something yummy leftover, offer to send it home with them.
- Don’t speak in code. If you have an existing group, you probably know each other pretty well. Maybe you even work or work out together. Try not to talk about too many things your new friends aren’t part of. Find conversations you can include them in.
- Get to know each other a little. Even if you already have a certain conversation planned, ask your group (new and old) to share a little about themselves. Ask something like, “How did you find our church, and is anything different in your life since you started coming?” Don’t expect to go super deep, but you don’t have to stay too shallow either.
- Do you. All of these are great recommendations, but mostly importantly, you need to be who you are. Maybe you just have to ask people to take their shoes off. Well okay, we need groups for people who always take their shoes off!