Volunteer Spotlight Neil Riddick
“Twelve minutes can change a life forever.”
Various reasons lead people to visit a church. Many try out a church once and know it is the place for them, while others never darken the church’s doors again. What makes the difference? Why is it that some people practically commit to a church after one visit when other people never bother to give it another chance? The answer lies in the quote listed above. Recent research shows that the majority of people decide in their first 12 minutes at a church whether they will ever be back again (Bible Records New Journal)
Think about that. In the first 12 minutes at Life Fellowship, visitors haven’t heard Pastor Chris speak. They surely haven’t answered the altar call. Depending on how early they arrive, they may not have even heard our worship team. Still, it has already been decided whether the visit is a one-time occurrence or something they plan on repeating. That is why we place such an emphasis on our Host Teams. Since making people feel welcome and comfortable at our church is the key to getting them to return, we make those first 12 minutes a priority.
Many people are intimidated and fearful as they enter a new church. Consciously or subconsciously, they ask themselves many questions on their way to service. “Will anyone notice me? Do they even care if I come? What if they don’t like me?” Our host teams (Greeters, Ushers, Café, Guest Services) are there to immediately and clearly answer those questions. “Yes, we do notice you. Absolutely, we want you here. We don’t just like you; we love you.” While these aren’t the words our hosts use when they welcome people to the church, it is the message they communicate. Essentially, our host teams are telling people we care about them.
Not only does modern research tell us that a greeting is important, God’s Word tells us that as well. Greeting and saluting is mentioned 54 times in the New Testament alone. Many books of the New Testament even begin with the word “greetings.” When the angels appeared to the shepherds in the field to tell them of Jesus’ birth, what was the first thing they told them? “Do not be afraid” (Luke 2:10a). The angels were fully aware that their message would never be heard if they did not first put the fears of the shepherds at ease.
Neil Riddick is the assistant director of our Hospitality Ministry at Life Fellowship Church. If you spend much time around him, you’re likely to hear him repeat the mantra more than once. “Twelve minutes can change a life forever.” He arrives early each and every Sunday morning and helps to oversee the four host departments with over 20 Life Fellowship members who faithfully volunteer as hosts for one of our two services. These faithful individuals are focused on being friendly and cheerful, and they are stationed at building entrances, auditorium doors, preparing the coffee bar, and making final preparation to Guest Services before each service to ensure that everyone who attends is provided by world class hospitality and at least two smiling faces.
To Neil Riddick and all of the Life Fellowship host team members, the fact that 12 minutes makes a difference is not just a nice saying; it is an underlying philosophy. It’s why they show up early each week. It’s why they put a smile on their faces and speak a cheerful word to those passing by. They know that making the first 12 minutes a positive experience prepares hearts to receive during the rest of the service. They know that 12 minutes can ultimately change lives, and changing lives is what Life Fellowship is all about!
If you attend Life Fellowship and are interested in joining our host Team and contributing to a life-changing 12 minutes, stop by Guest Services and pick up a Volunteer Application or CLICK HERE.