Sighed the minister, "In our church the ushers may or may not welcome visitors because they (the ushers) are often talking to their friends. Ushers do not help new people find places in the pews. During coffee hour, no one talks to visitors. The visitor's table is in an obscure corner, and rarely staffed. There's nothing of interest there anyway. I beat my head against the wall, but little of this seems to change."
Two lessons come to mind. The first is that many congregations behave this way, especially those with fewer than 150 at worship on Sunday. The second is, "Who's in charge?" Some group is responsible for perpetuating this institutional bad habit, a callous disregard for reaching out to those who are lost and lonely.