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Sunday Greeting at Second by Sue Wright

What does it take to be a greeter at Second? A badge and a smile. And if you’re like me and leave your badge at home half the time, you find out, it’s only your smile that’s absolutely necessary. Put it in place, along with your best, “Hello!” and you’re in business.

I, for one, came to the job of greeter reluctantly. I was asked off and on through the years, would I take a month of Sundays and be a greeter at the Franklin Doors. These doors used to be the main entrance into Second Baptist. They are the doors I walked through to attend church my first Sunday of college at William Jewell back in 1962. No surprise, in the last few years, the Welcome Center doors on the Kansas side of our building have become the most popular entrance. And why not? The fragrant smell of fresh coffee brewing in the coffee bar permeates the room. Folks gather there in comfortable chairs to chitchat between the 8:30 and 11:00 services. I call the doors on Kansas Street, the FUN DOORS!

I always found a reason to say no when asked officially to greet. But after Irene Thomas, a fellow balcony congregant begged me to fill in “just once, Sue,” I was hooked. About the same time, she eased Phyllis Chatlos into joining us. There were three double-doors fronting Franklin and now all were covered on a permanent basis. Yes, we three became Franklin’s regular greeters for many years.

Greeting didn’t come naturally to someone as shy as I. But long ago, I found the most comfortable way to turn up at a social event is to have a specific job waiting for me. You forget your personal insecurities and do the work instead. Irene, our experienced Greeting Instructor, made it very clear what the job entailed and that made fulfilling it easy. 

After we stationed ourselves at our assigned doors, Phyllis and I were to watch for folks climbing the stairs and open the appropriate door for them to enter. If weather permitted, we were taught to hold the door open from the outside, keeping it open with one hand while we passed a program to each person with the other. Mind you, I’m saying programs here, not worship guide. Part of my education was learning this more up-to-date term for the order of worship and other information we pass to members and guests on Sundays.

Once we got folks in the door, we were encouraged to engage them in a little conversation, answer questions, give directions to another part of the church if required, or introduce them if they were new, to someone on staff wandering about the sanctuary. Hospitality was the byword. It still is. And such a Biblical concept!

Romans 15:7 says, “Therefore, welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”  That’s the Greeter’s Commission. Come and greet with me and feel the joy!