Should your Church stop having a stand and greet time?
Wow. so interesting.
The surprise factor was the number one issue. Many first-time guests really don’t like the time of stand and greet one another that some churches have. According to the Twitter responses and comments on the post, many guests really don’t like it, so much so that they will not return.
click the link to read the entire article.
I’m so with you: I hate – HATE being told to do something robotically in a worship service. My pet peeve is repeating a word that the speaker has suddenly found interesting. “Say: I can do ALL things!!!” I find it insulting and manipulative.
The fact is that the majority of ppl – and you can see it easily from the platform – do ‘come alive’ when they’re given the opp to interact like that. You can feel the energy of the room relax and see the smiles bloom.
The energy at work there is the same principle behind the psalms that command us to sing, Psalm 33:1 – (“but I don’t wanna sing!”) or to shout, Psalm 95:1 (“but I’m a quiet person”) – or to raise our hands, 134:2 (“but it makes me uncomfortable”) or to *gulp* dance, 150:4 (“sorry, we’re Baptists”). Hey, i don’t write this stuff; I’m just pointing it out.
And I’m not even going to get into the communal holy kiss that’s commanded in Romans 16:16 and elsewhere.
The reason the bible tells us to ENGAGE like that is that our minds and hearts respond to what our bodies do – just as much as the other way ‘round. Don’t feel happy? Smile anyway; studies show that adjusting your face to “happy” elevates your mood. Again, this isn’t some pet theory of mine, I’m just quoting well-demonstrated science.
I hate ice-breaker games at parties, too. But you know what? If I participate, a strange thing happens: as much as I hate to admit it, the ice breaks.
At its best, worship should be a party. Yeah, I said it – a party. There is room for grief in worship, even honest anger with God, questioning, wordless waiting. But the basis of it all is a walls-down, un-self-conscious joy in knowing God and hanging out with others who know Him. That’s what we see in the psalms, and in the best worship services. Not standing and watching someone else worship, evaluating their performance or being spoon-fed truths that we’ve known perfectly well for years. But partying…. with our family – even family we’ve only just met this morning.
I would venture to say that no one has ever deserted our church because they were asked to say “good morning”. But the opposite problem – that they felt disengaged, cut off from the people around them – that, I can believe, has been very real at times.
I can also believe that In an entire service that’s a little, shall we say, stiff and unengaging, to have the command echo down from the high pulpit to “greet each other in the name of the Low-erd” might be blindingly counterproductive. The setting has to be right, and I’d bet that for many of those thin-skinned offend-ees, it was not.
fascinating that the most read blog on my site is about whether we should shake hand or not in church.