At Hoboken Grace, the First Impressions Team is responsible for welcoming and creating a comfortable environment for people to connect with God and one another. They make everyone feel at home by opening the doors with a simple smile, having food out in abundance, helping newcomers get connected, and setting up the space where the opportunity to build relationships with one another is possible. Hoboken Grace’s homemakers, the team bridges the gap every Sunday between newcomers and over 800 regular attendees who were once new faces.
To get an inside look at how the First Impressions Team plays a part in Hoboken Grace’s mission to bring people back to God, we interviewed members of the greeting team and found four reasons why you should consider joining if you’re not already involved.
They call it family
It has been said that it’s not about what you do, but who you do it with that makes a difference.
“The team has made me feel known and loved — it’s like being part of a family,” says Melissa. “My personality and gifts are welcomed and used for God’s glory.” She says it’s a great starting point for anyone who is looking to serve and likes welcoming people, as she has felt so welcomed herself.
“You’re part of a close-knit team, so there’s an amazing social aspect to serving as well,” says Laura. “You’re catching up with your friends each week while you prep for the services and greet at the door.”
It’s a chance to connect with the community
The team is dedicated to welcoming and loving everyone, inside and outside the church, quite literally. “Personally, I want the people who come through the door to feel welcome, to feel that we’ve been waiting for them to join us, and to feel that they belong at Hoboken Grace,” says Melissa. “I want them to know we are so glad they came.”
Grant loves seeing the ripple effect of the team’s service. “I love how our joy spills out into the streets outside 301 Garden. I watch the people of this community who walk by and take a look at what is going on. I can see the intrigue on their faces — ‘What is this place? Is that a church? Are those people having fun? Could it be that they’re normal like the rest of us?’ ”
The act is small, but the impact is significant
A smile, hug, handshake, or simple hello goes a long way, Grant says. “A woman that had no intention of coming into the church was walking by and we caught her attention by saying hello; after getting a chance to have some fun chatting with her and finding out how she had been hurt by the church many years back and didn’t trust it, she left … but later came back with a dozen cupcakes for our whole First Impressions Team. She met four people that day — all who love Jesus and loved her in that moment.” Grant says he finds a lot of joy and hope in knowing that God is working in moments like that.
For Laura, serving is an opportunity to give her time back to God — plus it’s fun! Being on a committed team has also added a layer of accountability to her life. “I have the privilege of being able to serve God and our community each week by forming relationships and loving others,” she says.
“It has taught me about obedience, service, and joy,” says Grant. “Obedience and service in the sense I’m continually learning how to not hoard my time for my own personal gain, but to spend a few hours feeding others.”
“What better way to show your love to Him than spending the limited resource (time) that He gave us with Him,” adds Tasheka.
The First Impressions Team
Mission: Ensures that every person who joins us on Sunday morning feels like they’ve come home.
The commitment: Serves on Sunday mornings.
How you can join or find out more information: Email firstname.lastname@example.org.