I love selling things. It’s not just selling things though, it’s finding out what people like and then selling them something. Truthfully, that’s what a general definition of marketing is. 

We generally think of marketing as just selling someone a product. As a kid, like most, my grandparents would tell me “you’re going to be President one day” but the one thing that was more realistic was “I could see you as a car salesman.” One of those is clearly more interesting job title. However, the more I learn about it, the more I love marketing. Not because I want to sell you something, but because I like to look at marketing in all aspects of life. 

I think the same thing when I look at a church, no matter the denomination. When you walk in the door, what kind of greeting do you get? Who do you meet? Do you get a smiling face or a frown? What do you see? It’s something that I instantly recognize on my first steps inside a church on. 

As a Church, we (everyone that belongs to the parish) have to assume that anyone that walks through the doors hasn’t been to our church before. A smiling face, a warm welcome, and a happy hello can go far. It shows it’s our parish, a place we’re proud of and a place we’re glad to call home. Therefore, it’s my personal belief that the greeters are so important within the church. Not more important than others, but simply a special role. 

Greeters are the first people you see when you walk in. A simple smile has been shown to change your own mood, but more specifically, the mood of the recipient of the smile. It’s a sign that you’re inviting. Because ultimately, that’s what the church is, inviting. 

 You see, it’s my belief that we’re always marketing ourselves and the places we represent. Not being a greeter doesn’t mean we can close our eyes and ignore the rest. Rather, when we see that new person walk into the sanctuary, we should still offer a smile or a simple handshake.  

We know being new anywhere is scary. Being new or returning to church after a while away is probably even scarier, but it’s even worse when you don’t feel welcomed. That’s why at St. Francis, I’ve pushed for the phrase “Welcome Home” to be prevalent. 

I know, we all have our unassigned assigned seats at Mass, but maybe just this weekwe slide over and offer out a welcoming smile to the new person in our pews. You never know — that simple smile could be the little nudge someone needs to be welcomed home. 

This blog was written by Joseph Barringhaus, Youth Events Coordinator and Digital Media & Communications Assistant here at St. Francis of Assisi. If you’re interested in writing a blog for St. Francis of Assisi, please contact Joseph at [email protected].