Think of an “outsider,” not a member of Christ ’s church, who walks into our assemblies or classes. What if an outsider becomes a guest at Graeber Road? We ’ve prayed, people do show up – God has answered. A powerful thought: God has said, “Yes” to our request for an open door. The question is: are we being good stewards of the blessings he is giving us? We do not want any visitors to slip through the cracks or be made to feel unwelcome! With our upcoming “Friends and Family Day” in mind, here are some keys to making all of our guests feel welcome:
Our Commission (Matt. 28:19 -20): We take the gospel message from “go” in Matt. 28 to “come and see.” I “go” to work and invite someone to “come” to my home for a Bible study? Then if I “go” to school, to work, to neighbor ’s house, street corner, to store and I invite someone to “come” to an assembly, I am fulfilling the command! Commission demands we honor people who do “come.”
Our Congregation (I Cor. 14:23 -25) In the miraculous gifts the Holy Spirit was using, God ’s will was being revealed and needed confirmation. God wanted His people together – to show love of God in meaningful ways —EVEN to outsiders. We want to make sure we conduct ourselves in a way that proves we aren ’t crazy, but instead God is among us. We cannot behave self – centeredly, and think only of ourselves – give no thought to our guests.
Our Cordiality (Heb. 13:1 -2) Do we “entertain strangers” or “estrange strangers”? One man observed, “museums have visitors, hotels have guests.” Do we show the difference as the church as a place people want to visit versus a place that they want to stay?
Our Concern (Col. 4:5 -6) Remember we are here to worship and honor God —but in honoring and welcoming the people that have come to be our guests, we do honor to the God who so wants them to know Him. His love ought to be seen in us by how we do welcome them! If you were visiting Graeber Road for the first time, what would you want someone to explain to you and help you with?
Our Course (Matt. 7:12) As men lead us in worship, are they explanatory in what we ’re doing? It may seem unnecessary for us, but for our guests, it will help them understand and feel more comfortable with us. Why do we do what we are doing? Greet our guests: Smile at them, shake their hand, here.
Do not take for granted the opportunities God has given us with our visitors. Get out of your comfort zone. Your church friends and family WILL wait for you to talk to them, but you may only get one opportunity to greet a guest. You may be the singular reason someone chooses to come back. Church, I know you to be friendly and welcoming. The Lord knows you love and care for people—let that be on display this next Sunday especially as we welcome others to hear the word of God and to spend time with us. Pray before, pray during, and pray after for God to give the increase!