It is Sunday morning, and you are tired. You are walking out of church and you see some people you do not recognize. It would be easy to slip by and head for home and coffee. But then you remember: God has so graciously redeemed me and made me His own. He has pursued me and now through Jesus Christ I am a sinner saved! So instead of walking by, you gather your courage and you head towards that visitor….
But how do we greet this visitor well?
Continue reading “Greeting the Newcomer”
“No one said ‘Hello’ to me at church today.” This can
be a common refrain from visitors to a church, but also from members within a
congregation. Research has shown that how visitors are welcomed when they enter
a church for the first (or second or third) time can make a huge impact on
whether or not they return to that church.
It is true that being a friendly and welcoming church
cannot turn people into believers. The gospel message must be proclaimed,
heard, and by the life-giving work of the Spirit, believed. It is the message
of salvation that makes believers, not a friendly greeting. But it is also true
that the message must first be heard.[i] And how can it be heard if people are not in
a church where the Truth is proclaimed? A warm welcome and a kind greeting can
make the difference between someone returning to hear that Truth proclaimed and
someone who says they will never go back to ‘that church’ again.
So, the question is, how well are we doing with our
Continue reading “No One Said ‘Hello’”