1. It’s viewed as being insincere
A popular activity in many churches today is referred to as “meet and greet.” This takes place just after praise and worship or devotions and when parishioners shake hands with each other. Increasing numbers of churchgoers, however, have a disdain for this practice and the major reason is that it’s seen as not being sincere. People greeting each other because it’s part of the order of service, does not indicate that the activity comes from their hearts.
For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the traditions of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do
2.One two skip a few
Not everyone goes from person to person and greets everybody they see. Some people skip those they don’t know or the ones they don’t care for. No one wants to be on the receiving end of being slighted. Sometimes visitors are ignored and they are the ones who need to be made to feel welcome. This is a big turn off for those who are visiting as well as members who are passed over for someone else.
2 Timothy 3:5-7 King James Version (KJV)
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
3.Feels awkward for introverts and those with social anxiety
Not everyone is a people person. Those whose personalities cause them to be considered as introverts or socially shy don’t want to be forced into uncomfortable situations. This part of the service can be traumatizing for those who do not wish to participate.
There have been complaints that shaking hands with so many people is expressing poor hygiene.You don’t know what surfaces someone else’s hands have touched or if they washed after using the facilities. There is no way to determine who might have coughed or sneezed into their hands. Congregants who are ill could spread germs and those dealing with certain types of health challenges don’t need to be on the receiving end of germs which could exasperate their situation. Now that people are concerned about the coronavirus, many will really think twice about hugging, kissing on the cheek and shaking hands. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but His word does indicate wisdom is important.
5.It doesn’t break the ice
Some people complain that a meet and greet does not break the ice as their pastor says and that people remain pretty frosty. I’ve been told this greeting does not help those in attendance to relax and be more open for the worship experience. With the attitude of so many being “Yikes, it’s meet and greet time” perhaps this ritual should be discontinued. Also, how can a person focus on the word of God if they are harboring feelings of being rejected during the meet and greet!
6.Turn to your neighbor
A lot of church goers complain about the “turn to your neighbor” aspect of meeting and greeting. Some preachers tell the members to turn to the person beside them and say a specific phrase and to pass it on to everyone they greet that morning. It’s supposed to be cute and relax everyone but actually is as annoying as being told during service to say, something to your neighbor who won’t turn to greet you.
7. It’s forced
The bottom line to the complaints I’ve heard in person and read online is that the meet and greet is forced. Some church goers don’t come into the sanctuary until it is over, others step out yo the rest room or to get water until it is over, Those in their seats have to contend with unwanted hands reaching towards them and don’t have the choice to say no.
The tradition of man nullifies the gospel, and this is why Jesus said you make “the word of God of none effect through your tradition” (Mark 7:13).
8. It’s a trending activity
The Bible outlines how believers are suppose that greet one another with a Holy kiss and treat each other with the love of Christ. This was more than likely done with sincerity early on. During the time scriptures were written, however, small groups of Christians gathered in homes.,Today we have a pop culture, mega church mentality and people do what is trendy. Meet and greet caught on because it’s currently popular but seems to be doing more harm than good. There is no way to truly feel the live of Christ when you are seated in an auditorium with 10 or 30 thousand strangers.
9.Has no spiritual value
There is no spiritual purpose for the meet and greet as it in no way prepares hearts to worship or be ready to receive the word. It’s just an activity that is currently trending that appeals to the flesh. It appears as though there is a benefit but with so many complains it is having the opposite effect. It becomes a form of godliness without any power, The meet and greet is a tradition of man and based on popular opinion is making His word of no effect.
10. Ulterior motives
The intended purpose of the meet and greet is to make people feel welcome and want to come back to visit or join the church. What visitors pay more attention to however is the way they were greeted when they walked through the door, or how they are treated when they asked a question or encountered people in the restroom. The meet and greet becomes superficial when church members don’t speak at other intervals. I visited a church where two women greeted my husband but turned their backs on me. I’ve seen people smile and be friendly during the meet and greet and walk past visitors when church is over. I was once visiting a church where a number of ladies were in the restroom chatting and not one even acknowledged me. If you smile during the meet and greet just to please the pastor that is a wrong motive. If the pastor had meet and greet just to give the appearance of a friendly church that’s manipulation. If his ultimate goal is extra bodies in the seats and additional tithes that is really a wrong motive.
© 2020 Cheryl E Preston
frogyfish from Central United States of America on March 07, 2020:
You have some interesting points and yes, some valid negative things that are regretfully true. I most like your #10 information...right on.
However...for me the greeting is ok...not great, not horrible, just ok.
Thanks for sharing your readable experiences.
Cheryl E Preston (author) from Roanoke on February 27, 2020:
Sorry you had such an experience. More reasons why this practice should be discontinued.
Kyler J Falk from California on February 27, 2020:
In the days where I still allowed others to force me to go to church, this meet and greet segment always made me uncomfortable. I went to the large church, rather than kids courses, and none of the adults would shake my hand when I offered it. Many who did looked at me with an expression of discomfort that I was even allowed into the adult services, and only a very rare few genuinely greeted me.
I always questioned the practicality of it as well, was a minute and thirty seconds really enough to meet and greet one another? No, and these things are best left to arranged munches before or after service. Then again, you'll never catch me at church ever again anyways. Maybe a black mass, just to see what goes on as I've never been, but never for anything other than flippant curiosities.
Cheryl E Preston (author) from Roanoke on February 26, 2020:
Thank you for sharing your point of view.
BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on February 26, 2020:
The church I attend does this also.
I agree that it can make a few feel awkward. It is possible to spread germs. There isnt enough time to say hello to everyone so people do get skipped over.
But it does seem to lighten the mood a bit. It's nice to have someone you don't know welcome you.
But i agree that should carry on in all places of the church..even the bathroom.
We should not do stuff just to please the pastor.
As for the tell your neighbor...that ine bothers me at times if I don't know person beside me .
Thanks for the share.
This has some interesting points.
Cheryl E Preston (author) from Roanoke on February 26, 2020:
Yes I was thinking that
OLUSEGUN from NIGERIA on February 26, 2020:
Uhm. Maybe "coronavirus" would let some pastors have another thought about this.
Good work ma.
Margaret Minnicks from Richmond, VA on February 26, 2020:
Great article, Cheryl. Pastors should take this advice. I know a person who left the church because she didn't like the "Meet and Greet" period. Other come to church late to avoid that time of the service.
Evie Lopez from Sunny Florida on February 26, 2020:
You have just put into words what many are feeling and dare not say. I agree that it is insincere and many feel forced to practice this because the pastor requests it, and if you don’t do the meet and greet you’ll look unfriendly or unchristian. My big concern is the lack of hygiene in many people and those with suppressed immunity are placed more at risk compromising their health. I feel it is better to leave this gathering for the end of the service and let people decide if they want to hang around and socialize, that at least will be more sincere. Great article.
Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 26, 2020:
Very nicely brought out article. Well presented. The suggestions have merit.
Lorna Lamon on February 26, 2020:
I can remember the 'meet and greet' aspect of our Church many years ago and it made me feel uncomfortable for all the reasons you have mentioned.This is a thought provoking article Cheryl - well written.