Guest Blog: 12 Church Etiquette Rules for Your Congregation

By Robin Marriott 

Etiquette rules change constantly.

And, from time to time, those of us in the church need to learn new concepts or be reminded of old rules and manners. After all, your mom isn’t always there to give you the evil eye if you misbehave.

Today, visitors have a variety of churches to “try out,” so you don’t want to run the risk of one uneducated church member running off an unsaved sinner, potential tither, or a long-term member of the flock.

Here are 12 simple etiquette rules for you to remember:

1. Entering a pew or row of seats

Enter facing the person. No one wants your backside in their face as you slip into the middle of the row.

2. Your ‘usual’ seat is occupied

If someone is sitting where you normally sit, smile and keep going and be glad they are there. The last thing a visitor/uninvolved church member needs is a cranky person insisting that they move.

3. Greeting

Speak to EVERYONE with a smile.

4. Standing

Always stand when greeting someone (male or female).

5. Bulletins/Bible

Be gracious and offer your bulletin and/or Bible to someone without one.

6. Phones

Leave these in your car or TURN THEM OFF unless God is calling you to personally write out a large tithe check.

7. Shaking hands

Extend your hand to everyone (male or female).

8. Unsolicited negative comments

Avoid comments like:  “You don’t want to go to that rock-and-roll service, do you?”  or “That service is for old people.”

9. Return invitations

Always tell a visitor that you would love for them to come back.

10. Invitations to small groups/Sunday school

Invite visitors or uninvolved members to your small group/Sunday school, no matter their age.

11. Looking lost

If you see someone who looks lost, take time to help them, even if you’re not a greeter.

12. Names

Make a point to remember a visitor’s name and use it in the conversation, as it usually makes someone feel good to know that you remembered their name — and it shows that you care.

Good etiquette and proper manners should be practiced by everyone to avoid conflict, boost morale, and show the love of Christ.

Shouldn’t this start in the church?

What are some of your church etiquette pet peeves?


Robin Marriott

Robin Marriott is an expert on business etiquette. As the wife of a Baptist pastor, she’s become an expert on church etiquette as well. Robin earned her B.B.A. and M.Ed. She is an adjunct college professor, certified high school business teacher, public speaker, president of several foundations and boards, and is active in community events. She has worked with clients such as H.E.B. executives, Stripes executives, banks, city chambers, and others. She is a sought-after speaker and has been seen on Good Morning America and Good Morning Texas.

Visit Robin’s website to learn more.

2 thoughts on “Guest Blog: 12 Church Etiquette Rules for Your Congregation

  1. Good article. My only thought is that these suggestions are not really new. AND they will never stop being the right thing to do.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Thank you! I’d agree with you that the best things to do are probably the “tried and true” that have been around for years. It’s good to get a reminder now and again. Thank you so much for reading!

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