Are you a greeter?

No, I don't mean the blue vested retirees at the door of Wal-mart. What I mean is, in the morning, are you the one to say"Hello." or "Good Morning." or do you typically respond to someone else?

A few years ago I had the great pleasure of working for a year side by side with my best friend. We lived near each other, so we carpooled as well, getting in a little prayer time together on the way. It was a year I would not trade for anything. Byron is a man with an uncanny insight into people's character, ever observant of their demeanor and behavior, looking into their soul. Not long after starting there (I had been there for several years), Byron pointed out that the owner rarely greeted anyone in the morning. He was almost always there first, but rarely seemed to even notice that we had come in until we said "Hello.". Byron also pointed out that I was the same way. I came in and went to my desk to get started on the day, oblivious to the other humans in the room. Byron would go out to the shop and say "Hi" to everyone before sitting down. He confronted me on that. Frankly, it was something I had never thought of. It wasn't that I intended to ignore folks or didn't care, I was just in my own little world I guess.

Well, Byron has moved to another state and I've moved on to another job. Recently, though, two new guys at the office have refreshed my memory. They're both greeters, it's rare that I say "Hi" to them before they say "Hi" to me. In fact, there have been times that I hear "Good morning!." from over the wall and I hadn't even noticed them.

I have to wonder, as a disciple, would Jesus be a greeter? I have a hard time coming up with a reason he wouldn't be. So, again, as a disciple, shouldn't I strive to be a greeter too? Not so much to beat folks to the punch, or to be that annoying happy-go-lucky guy that's so perky on Monday morning, but doesn't it say a little something about me that I can arrive in a building full of people I know and not even notice them? What is so important on my mind that I can't pay attention to those around me long enough to say "Hi"? Does it say anything about how much (or little) concern I have for them? Now, I'm not saying that all non-greeters will go to Hell, but it seems to me that a Christian ought to be in tune with the people around him, their demeanor, what they are all about, who they are, at the very least to say "Hi". We ought to strive to care about their hope and fears, their dreams and struggles. Why would they tell us that if we didn't even see them there? In order to love, we have to be aware, and being a Christian is all about how we love.

So, are you a greeter?

1 TrackBack

Doug Schaefer had an interesting blog today asking the question, are you a "greeter", or someone who intentionally goes out of his/her way to say hello to people, to initiate conversation, and to otherwise affirm the worth and importance of... Read More

3 Comments

I LOVED this post! Very thoughtful and insightful.

I am the sort of person who gets lost in my own thoughts and am comfortable being in a room full of people and just being a quiet observer. My personality tests label me as an introvert...

All that to say that I am a "greeter". I became one intentionally. In fact, I had to force myself to become one. But for me, it was part of my discipleship. It was in the early days of my Christianity, when I was first learning what it meant to be a disciple, and I decided that a disciple who loved Jesus and wanted to share the love of Jesus would start by saying hello. It shows we care about others. And people 99% of the time, respond well to it.

I have been doing it for so long now, that it is habit. It comes easily to me now, and I do it quite naturally. But there are still on occasion "those days" when I would rather just be by myself, and let others come to me, if they so choose.

Note: I am a minister, and though you might consider being a "greeter" part of my "job", I thought that it was part of being a disciple, and still believe it to be, and I intentionally strived to be this way, before I entered ministry.

I also think being a good "greeter", means learning and remembering people's names. You never know what relational bridges you'll cross by remembering someone's name, or their children's names, or what's going on in their lives, so you can ask about them when you see them next. That shows you care, and opens the door to relational evangelism. It takes work, it takes effort, it takes discipline, yes. But these are all part of what it means to be a disciple.

Shrode, I'm the same way. I'm totally an introvert but I've forced myself to be a greeter. I think that's the way to go. I often times see introverts who aren't willing to come out of their comfort zones and become greeters, and I think they miss out on a lot. With that said, it's not TOTALLY natural to me yet. It's still sort of like pulling teeth. ;-) Well, not that bad.

Thanks for the comments guys.

Like you said, Shrode, it's all about caring, nothing more. Frankly, some folks ar greeters but they might as well not be, They say the words, but as Erik at virus doc pointed out in his trackback post, they don't really want to know how you're doing. To them it's just a 'hello', and if you answer honestly ("Well, actually not real well."), they're likely to be taken aback. For me, making a conscious effort to acknowledge the others in the room forces me to look at them, notice their demeanor that morning, think about them and just pay more attention.



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  • Thanks for the comments guys. Like you said, Shrode, it's all about caring, nothing more. Frankly, some folks ar greeters but they might as well not be, They say the words, but as Erik at virus doc pointed out in his ...

  • Shrode, I'm the same way. I'm totally an introvert but I've forced myself to be a greeter. I think that's the way to go. I often times see introverts who aren't willing to come out of their comfort zones and become greet...

  • I LOVED this post! Very thoughtful and insightful. I am the sort of person who gets lost in my own thoughts and am comfortable being in a room full of people and just being a quiet observer. My personality tests label...

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