Today many people have given up on church because when they do attend, they don’t see a genuine love and acceptance for visitors, new members, or even each other.
Visitors come into our churches hoping to find love and acceptance, yet in many churches all they find is isolation and rejection. Not one person reaches out to them. Think of the difference you could make in someone’s life if you would just reach out and welcome that visitor or new member.
Too often we leave the job of hospitality to the pastor, who is usually already overextended. We walk into our church, sit on our same pew, and talk to our same friends. The excuse that many Christians make is that “even Jesus himself had a close, inner circle of friends. We just can’t get around to everyone. Too many Christians seem to be drawn to those who are their friends and those who are like them.
What should we be doing?
- Be friendly to visitors: “Welcome! It’s so good to see you this morning.”
- Be friendly to the poor and outcast. (Even if you don’t feel like it)
- Be a friend to a visitor. Invite him to lunch or to your house for coffee.
- If someone comes in alone, sit with him and make him feel welcome.
- Sit on a different pew and visit with a different member.
- Avoid just visiting with your clique.
- Request phone number of a visitor; send him a friendly text during the week.
- Next church fellowship, sit with someone you don’t know.
- After services, go up to someone you don’t know and talk to him.
- Don’t make anyone feel like he doesn’t belong in your church.
- Send an encouraging email or note to a member you didn’t see last Sunday.