Sunday Morning Leftovers


This Sunday our pastor asked me to do the welcome and kick off the “connecting time” (aka the greeting time) during the service. For a church who places a high value on authenticity, I knew several people who felt like this was the least authentic time of the entire morning. Other friends had recently mentioned that they downright just didn’t like that part of the service because it felt so awkward.

So for several days, I felt stuck in a dilemma. How do you encourage people to engage in something that – for the most part – they dislike doing? And really, why DO we do carve out that time? Do we expect to develop meaningful relationships in the two minutes we have?

I recently read a post by one of my favorite bloggers, Ann Voskamp, about the power of naming. I’ve thought about what she says for some time now, and as I was pondering this whole issue of the connecting time, the pieces, well, connected. Ann talks about the power that comes with giving something a name. That in the act of naming something, it begins to take form. To have identity. To become known.

And so when we take one or two minutes to get to know someone’s name or a few seemingly small details about a couple, they become more than “the brown-headed girl who sat next to us” or “that couple with the tiny baby.” It truly becomes a time of connecting, albeit the first step in connecting. Little by litte, we become known to one another.

So, what I learned this Sunday is that the connecting time actually matters.

How about you?



  1. I’m with you! And to be honest, being someone who has been in several churches as we have moved around the country, the greeting time is really not a time to be about “me”, but to be about others. When people came up to us as a newcomer, it helped us have a friendly face to see when we came back.

    So now, when I see a new person in our church, I intentionally seek out the person I may not know in the greeting time, because I know first hand how good that “connection” feels!

  2. What a great way of addressing this issue. Our church is small — about 50 members on any given Sunday — but even there, we can have trouble connecting. This gives me something to think about …

  3. We started attending a new church about a year ago. One of the first things my husband and I noticed about this church was how exceptionally fond the people are of the connecting time! It always takes the pastor a few minutes to draw our attention back for the next part of the worship service. It’s a small church and people come down from the choir loft to shake hands with those of us in the pews. We felt very welcome the first time we visited when so many people moved out of their seats to shake our hands.

    Btw, I found your blog on the High Call Blogs network. I am a brand new member of the network. I have observed Lent for about 8 years now, but did not grow up knowing about Lent. I was drawn to your blog from the comments on High Calling about your thoughts on Lent. And, as a mother of 2, your title and the picture at the top of your page also captured my attention!

  4. Having grown up in a small church, I often find myself lost in big church we’re in now. The congregation last Sunday was nearly four hundred. That said, our greeting time seems to shrink things down a bit and allows people to connect. For a while, anyway.

  5. spaghettipie

    K – It always makes a difference when you’ve been on the other end, doesn’t it?
    J – I’m not exactly sure why that is. We’re wired to desire community, but I guess we’re afraid to take the risk?
    NB – I’m so glad you found me. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I’ll look forward to perusing your site as well.
    BC – Always glad to hear from you. Hopefully despite the growth, you’ll always be able to find a little time to connect.

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