The foyer at Saddleback church is very small and in fact they have seats out in their foyer I’ll comment on this more later. But their real foyer is an outdoor foyer, which they call “The Patio”, this works in Lake Forest, CA., it was 78 degrees at the beginning of our church service there Sabbath.
On the outdoor foyer they have canopies and under these canopies are tables where folk can sign-up for the primary ministries of the church (small groups and Celebrate Recovery) and or sign-up to volunteer in different areas, a lot of churches I have been to, beg for volunteers a couple times a year, these folk had it set-up so that whenever the Spirit moved someone to serve, there was immediate opportunity.
I really appreciated the organization of the tables. Everything was laid out very neatly and was easy for a person to peruse through.
I also appreciated that all the volunteers helping with the ministries had name tags hung around their neck with the name of their ministry and or position title. You looked at the name and then you looked up at the volunteer and they were all smiling infectiously! They looked like very happy Christians…like they were happy to be serving.
The third thing I noticed and this stood (no pun intended) out for some reason. Every volunteer behind the table was STANDING! No one was sitting (that is not true there was one table and I will get to that in a minute). I realized in that moment that standing is inviting. Sitting can often be very closed, many of us sit with poor posture and this often times can create a closed position. There was only one table where the people were sitting, it was the youth and jr. high table. They were sitting and the volunteers looked disinterested and guess what? I never saw a single person at their table!
I want to make a quick comment on Saddleback’s inside foyer. The inside foyer has some extra seating and also there are some TV screens and the service is broadcast out to these extra seats. The reason this caught my attention is that I know each week there are a number of mothers who at some point in my service end up sitting out in the foyer. We have a sound system, but it often times gets turned off, but I was thinking it would be great if when these mothers, grandmothers, even fathers, and grandfathers need to leave the sanctuary for a ‘bit if they could still hear and SEE the worship service inside. Sometimes these little amenities make the difference (though this is something that may cost a little money).
So what can we learn, no matter what our size? Have sign-ups for volunteers every week so that when God speaks to an individuals heart that they need to get involved, then there is an opportunity for them to get involved! Second I learned that we need to always make sure we are standing-up, not sitting down, when wanting folks to take interest in what we have to show them at our ministry tables. These are just a couple things any church can do no matter the size or resources.