How to be an Altar Live Host & Greeter
So, You’re a Greeter
Congratulations! You have been chosen to be a Host or Greeter for services and events on Altar Live. Hosts and Greeters create a welcoming experience for first time visitors and regular attendees. They also help with general event management by utilizing the chat, answering questions, and so much more.
What Makes a Good Greeter for Altar Live?
As a Host or Greeter, you have the power to create a meaningful experience for attendees. Hosts and Greeters are not only responsible for most of the technical aspects, but also facilitating conversation, community, and real life that is happening online. Greeting people is only the first step.
If you're an administrator looking for Hosts and Greeters, choose people who are not afraid to jump into a conversation with attendees. Look for someone who is willing to welcome people and also form a connection with them. Hosts and Greeters should be trustworthy and have a gift for forming fast relationships.
Deepening Engagement Inside the Event:
The Welcome Message
The first and one of the most important steps to hosting an event is writing the Welcome Message. Keep in mind that the Welcome Message is the first thing people see when they log in. It should immediately put people at ease, create a welcoming environment, and reassure people they are in the right place (literally and figuratively!) The goal is always to make people feel comfortable, welcomed, and seen. As Hosts and greeters, your mission is to make people feel like they are a part of the church community no matter where they are or how many times they have attended your church.
Short Greeting: Welcome to our Sunday Service, we are so glad you are here!
Welcome with a message: Happy Sunday Everyone! We are so thankful to have you with us today. While you’re waiting, take a seat, and greet someone in your row, the service will begin soon.
Welcome with a time for reflection: Thank you for joining us today, we are so glad you’re here. Before the service, read this verse and journal any thoughts or reflections you have.
Use the Chat
Utilizing the chat during your Events is another easy way to get people to engage with the service and each other.
Use General Chat to:
- Encourage people to take a seat. It may be helpful to do this several times at the beginning of the event, since some people will be arriving late.
- Share affirmations. Go ahead and say something in Chat -- repeat a favorite line from the worship song that is playing; cite a scripture verse from the reading or the message; commend the reader for reading a prayer or a personal story
- Remind people you are there to help or answer any questions.
- When appropriate, mention people by name. It may seem simple, but calling someone by name immediately creates a personal connection.
Use Direct Messages to:
- Make a personal, direct invitation to someone to take a seat. This can be a simple invitation, or you may have some people in mind who will help generate momentum.
- Create a group chat with two or three people who you think will be open to sitting together, and invite them to take a seat.
- Send notes of encouragement to selected attendees. Thank someone for contributing to the chat, and for taking the lead in joining a table. Recognize the light they shined to help make the online community connect and deepen in relationship.
There is no need to force or compel anyone to take a seat. Be inviting, but not pushy. Some people are fine for now not signing in or sitting down. Allow them their uninterrupted space.
Send out those Polls
Polls are great engagement tools. It may seem simple, but light, fun questions will encourage people to participate and connect with each other.
- How was everyone’s weekend? (Give options)
- What are you drinking this morning? Coffee, Tea, Orange Juice, others?
- Favorite Season
- Preferred Vacation Destination (Beach/mountains/City)
- Favorite Sports Team
You can get really creative with these, the possibilities are endless!
Greeters can help guide the flow of the service by making Announcements. If you need to send a message that does not necessarily fit in the chat-- a time of offering, corporate prayer, and transitions during and after the service, announcements are a great tool.
You can create new announcements at any time, save them as drafts, and publish them at the appropriate time.
Your announcement can include a link that will open up a new tab alongside the current Altar Live tab.
For example, you may want to link to:
- A church giving app on your website or a third-party website,
- A Google doc for signing up for volunteer opportunities or an upcoming event
- A photo library to view highlights from recent outing
- A page with lyrics for the worship
- Your church’s sermon library on YouTube or Vimeo
You can also send announcements to let attendees know what to do after the service:
“Remain with us after the end of the service -- we will all move to the Lobby for fellowship.”
Moving to the Lobby:
At the end of the service, move the entire gathering from the auditorium where the live stream has been playing into the Lobby.
In Altar Live, when people hear the recessional, postlude music, you do not want them to leave! You want them to move to the Lobby. Make sure you pre-empt that with a prominent modal announcement that pops up in the center of the screen, inviting everyone to continue fellowship in the Lobby.
Pro tip: Make announcements just as the service is coming to a close so people know to move into the Lobby instead of logging off
Some best practices to help Lobby fellowship flow naturally:
Give a name to some tables. Consider inviting the pastor(s) to sit at a table to make themselves available. Create tables that will interest people -- Meet the Pastors, Meet Pastor Dave, Meet the Musicians, etc.
Create other tables with a particular purpose: Next Steps, Welcome Table, Newcomers. During the early weeks, even a Tech Support table for people with questions about using the Altar Live platform.
One table to think about: “Want to be a Greeter?” Encourage people to be Greeters for your Altar Live event team. Your hospitality team is the heartbeat of each service!
Encourage participation. In any social gathering, online or in person, there will always be hesitancy to participate. Many people need some encouragement or a gentle nudge to try the tables for the first time.
Here are few ideas:
- Use the General Chat to commend individuals for making the first move, e.g. “I see Latandra and Sarah have jumped in. Nice going!”
- Point out the table names in the Chat. List the tables available so people know where to join and what is being offered. Some people may need some help navigating the platform.
- Recruit other cheerleaders. When you see two or three people at a table, join in and see how they are doing. If they seem comfortable, ask one or more of them to make a comment in the Chat to encourage other people to join. People will follow by example.
- Join singleton tables. If you see someone alone at a table, drop in to say hello. They may be waiting for a specific person to join, or they are open to having anyone come by and spend a little time.
- Make introductions. If there is room at a table, and they are open to including another person, connect with one of the “wallflowers” (signed in, but not seated) by direct message, and see if they would be interested in joining that table.
- Conduct a poll. The Lobby is an ideal place for an ice-breaker poll. Use the poll icon on the right side to create a simple poll: favorite pizza topping, preferred vacation destination, best sports hero in your town, bible trivia questions. Invite people to join a table according to their answer- watch the conversations flourish!
Creating true online engagement takes time, but equipping your Hosts and Greeters to create a welcoming environment is key. These tips and tricks may seem simple, but utilizing Altar Live’s features and making an effort to draw people in will help communities strengthen and grow.
Check out this video for more information: