I have a wonderful friend who loves connecting people to one another. Whenever she gathers people, she will introduce everyone to everyone. I come into her house and she asks me right away “do you know everyone?” I usually say yes, because I usually do, but she still goes around introducing me to her family and friends. She wants us to feel connected with one another. It would be wonderful if we had people like my friend, here at church who wanted everyone to feel connected.
A hospitality mingler could be that person. Someone in the narthex mingling with everyone and helping people make connections. If someone needed to know about a class, Sunday school, or an event, the mingler would take that person to the Welcome Center, so our welcome center staff could help them out. The mingler could help someone connect with someone in their same circumstance like those with children, empty nesters, those retired or anything that would connect them. Our minglers would not stand inside the door, waiting for people, but be among them getting to know all who came into church. They could help people find their name tags or help them make one. They could help a young family coming in to find the nursery and activity bags, or let them know about Frolic and Sunday school.
We could also have hospitality minglers in the sanctuary, getting to know those who sit regularly in the same pew. They could introduce newcomers to our regulars. They could help find seats when church starts getting full and encourage people to move to the middle or sit closer to the front. They could help a visitor find a place to sit, maybe next to a regular attender, so the regular attender can help the visitor navigate through our worship service. They could get an offering envelope if someone forgot theirs at home. Making sure that if someone with a cane, walker or in a wheelchair feels comfortable going up for communion or if they would like the a pastor to come to them.
In this way, with minglers in the narthex and in the sanctuary, we will begin making connections with one another that are more genuine than a “good morning” at the front door. As people gather together, within the narthex and then within the sanctuary, these spaces begin to look like the Kingdom of God, where the world and the Word meet. For Jesus said in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”
So many of us do this already; we welcome each other with a gracious “How are you?” “How’ve you been?” “It’s so good to see you,” so now instead of just doing this with those we know, how about doing it with everyone. If we had a small group of minglers starting to do this each Sunday and Wednesday, I would hope that by their example, all of us would be minglers for God.