Hospitality – I love this word. It gives me a warm feeling of sitting by the fireplace, drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows, and reading a good book (a Stonecroft publication, of course). It’s a heartfelt and welcoming feeling I want others to experience when they visit my home. Our Women’s Connection events have the same goals: welcome others to our Group and develop relationships with them. Then they will be open to hear the Gospel.
Some ways to make hospitable, intentional connections include:
- Start with Hello
When we see a first-time guest, greet her (it only takes two minutes). A simple introduction gives her a name and smiling face to seek on her next visit. The more people who greet her, the friendlier the Group seems. If only one lady speaks to the first-time guest out of the entire Group, she may leave feeling unwanted and unconnected, and, sadly, she may not return.
2. Strike up a Dialogue
We can ask open-ended questions instead of questions that result in only “yes” or “no” answers. We may not think of ourselves as great conversationalists, but it’s easy if we consider these sample conversation starters:
- How did you find out about our Group?
- What are your thoughts on our speaker’s topic today?
- What was the most interesting thing that happened to you this week?
- Tell me about the things you enjoy most in life.
3. Life Experiences
We can make every effort to connect the new guest with an existing Group member. Think of someone in the Group who is in a similar life situation and introduce the two of them. Are they single, recently widowed, or divorced and looking for fellowship with other ladies? Are they just looking for some new friends in this season of life? Make several introductions and watch the friendships unfold.
4. Identify ways to get them involved
Identify similar interests between existing attendees and the new guests. Do they have hobbies, enjoy decorating, love to entertain, exercise? Perhaps they love to read and are looking for a book or Bible study. Seek every opportunity to connect them with others in hopes that they become a regular part of the Group. Consider ways the individual can contribute to the planning team activities and feel part of what’s going on.
Brainstorm with the Group how everyone can play a role to help first-time guests feel connected. Pray about ways God can use us to share the Gospel. Let’s commit to make an intentional connection this month!