A recurring theme on this blog and on others such as Dwight Towers and Chris Johnston is welcoming newcomers into groups. Dwight has pointed us at Beyond The Choir’s take on welcoming new folk. Read their article Orienting new members and volunteers to a local group. Some wise words. In short they recommend
- welcome interviews to get to know newcomers
- meeting people where they are at in terms of commitment and time on offer
- being nice! A much under-rated groupwork tool that helps people feel valued
Formal ‘ welcome interviews’ might not suit every situation, but the questions they offer are still a guide for an informal conversation. I’d also recommend placing stronger emphasis on the “what do you want out of this?” side of things, and aim to have a conversation in which the newcomer gets to do most of the talking. It’s through listening that we ultimately convince people they will be valued as a group member.
I’ve added the pdf here for those with less time and you’ll also find it on our resources page. But meander round their site when you have a moment.