As we mentioned in our last post, it’s not too early to be thinking about Christmas. Fall is the time to prepare your church building for the first-time visitors who will be arriving during the holiday season. We’ve already mentioned cleaning, maintenance, painting, floor care, and signage. We will conclude this series of helpful autumn suggestions by looking at ways of creating a more welcoming space that encourages community and fellowship.
We all know that hospitality is a major reason why visitors return to a church, so it’s important not to neglect your lobby and café spaces in your fall fix-up plan. Some of the same suggestions we made last time, about removing the clutter of outdated brochures and flyers, apply here as well.
You want the space to feel warm and welcoming, so if your church has been talking about bringing in a new color scheme, this could be an ideal time to make that vision a reality. Whether it involves a new coat of paint or some comfortable furniture that’s not showing wear and tear, this is the season to give your hospitality spaces a good makeover.
Adding a Café to Your Church Building
If you don’t have a café or similar hospitality space, now would be an excellent time to create one. You don’t have to undergo a major church building renovation, either.
Perhaps there’s an existing conference room or classroom near the lobby. You can convert that to a café, or make the space do double duty in the interests of increasing fellowship. This will give you and your church leaders a better opportunity to invite Christmas guests to stick around, relax, and sip coffee as they learn more about your church and its vision for your community.
Furniture for Fellowship
Of course, don’t just drag some beat-up old couch from the youth room into the new café and call it good. Worn furniture conveys a negative message, so be prepared to repair or replace furnishings for your café.
This is true for all the other areas of your church building as well. Replacing a few strategic pieces of furniture will bring new style and color to the space, and you can coordinate those with the new paint accent colors that we talked about in our last post.
If you’re worried about not having enough furniture and your budget is tight, focus on creating a few conversation areas around your lobby and café areas. Soft sofas and armchairs near the windows of your lobby, for example, create a natural setting where visitors can see people talking before they even walk through the church building doors. Just make sure that any furniture rearrangement you decide upon doesn’t impede the flow of traffic or block safety exit routes.
As long as you’re assessing your church building’s furniture, don’t forget the classrooms. Do you have enough comfortable seating? Does the furniture function for the ministries that happen in each room? In a Bible study, are there enough chairs for everyone to sit together at a table or around the room?
Another consideration: Are you using uncomfortable metal folding chairs for additional people? Nothing is more likely to discourage your Christmas visitors from returning than being stuck in the corner on a hard metal chair. Instead, get some new folding or stackable chairs with comfortable padded seats. Not only will they make everyone feel at home, but the chairs will give you another opportunity to highlight your new color scheme.
The bottom line for this fall fix-up series is that you want your house of worship to also be a welcome home for new visitors.
For more ideas about making guests feel welcome, sign up today for our i3 webinar series. Simply visit our website, where you can sign up for any (or all) of the webinars that interest you. They’re absolutely free!