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Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by SaggyWoman, Aug 16, 2009.
As pastor, do you stand at the entrance after church and shake hands with everyone?
I stood at door greeting people coming in and again after service when leaving. I shook hands with all men, bowed to all women and only shook hands with them when they extended their hand to me.
More important than the hand shake, I made a point of remembering their names!
Not always, sometimes, just depends. I usually try and greet everyone before the service and make sure to greet those that came in late after the service, but no there is not an official greeting line in which everyone must go through if they want to leave.
A new pastor's wife sat down beside us and introduced herself. My wife extended her hand to shake hands and the woman drew back and said, "Oh, I don't shake hands, germs you know."
The next week we were amused way too much when the pastor announced that his wife could not make it due to a very bad cold :thumbsup:
To the point, I always stood around the front of the church in case anyone wanted to talk. I had already made the rounds to greet everyone.
I greet everyone coming in to the service. It's just easier to do it before because afterwards there are always people who want a few minutes, so I can give them some time without hurrying them along.
Maybe women should get back to wearing gloves along with their hats...:applause:
I am very English, and that is why I don't offer my hand to women. Doff the hat and nod the head.......shake hands if they offer first. That's my rule. I am not a hugger either, so I always stay a safe distance off.
Amen, I absolutely agree. I've seen some pastors that are just way too friendly.
If a church is of any size the bottleneck created by the pastor having to shake hands with everyone can be insane. I used to belong to a church that had a narrow hallway to the exit and the pastor and his wife stood in it to shake hands as people left... it was a nightmare.
Our pastor now shakes hands before the service and when the choir comes down. After the service he seldom gets anywhere near the entrance before almost everyone is already gone due to so many talking to him.
My wife and I stand at the Welcome Center, and those who wish to stop by and greet us on the way out can do so. About 30% of the congregation normally stops for a brief greeting. Others wave as they pass by.
We prioritize connecting with our first time guests and recent new attendees in our connections center over shaking everyone's hand. We really want to ensure that new attendees are finding their way and having their questions answered.
Each of our teaching pastors and staff do our best to connect with everyone but that isn't possible all the time.
I do think that being able to do this is great. Growing our pastor would stand at one of the two back doors of our sanctuary and shake hands at the end of the service. It was an invaluable practice.
I was at a church Sunday that this happened in. I thought, 'FIRE, FIRE, LET ME OUT OF HERE." :tonofbricks::BangHead:
we are a small church in a small community. i stand in the back but i leave plenty of room to slip by if you want to. One of my joys is the chance to greet the congregation. With only 40 or so (and growing) it is easy. as we grow, it will have to change.
We have three exits. I stand at one of them. The others are covered by a deacon or lay person. So far, there have been no bottle necks.
During the swine flu scare, we told people that instead of shaking hands around the church, I would do the fist bump. They laughed, but I watched and for the next few weeks, very few shook hands, they just hit the fists.:laugh:
The pastor being available for the "handshake" is what counts,,availability,, and not that everyone must shake hands with the pastor.
Ps.. I think the disease factor in shaking hands is overdone in society.
My pastor goes to a designated area (right now, the library) to greet newcomers or anyone who wants to chat with him. This is announced at the services. So we have no bottleneck.
When I say the title "Pastoral Hand Shake", I though to myself "Gee, they have a secret handshake, too??" My pastor usually gets to the back door, but he can only stay for about 10 mins. Even in a small congregation like ours (150 people), people stop and gab with him, precluding others from shaking his hand on the way out. Plus, he's also on the "muscle" team, which helps setup and take down.
The church I pastor is a bit to large for me to do the back door meet and greet thing. I do make myself available at the front of the worship center to receive those who want/need to meet with me and for guests/visitors.
In terms of the physical contact, I usually allow the other person to determine what that is. Handshakes, fist-pounds and hugs are all welcome!!! Guests and visitors are usually met a handshake.