Words From The Pastor - November 2014
“Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”
We should remember what we are grateful for every day of our lives. It will change your outlook in a few seconds if you will do it. We get stuck ruminating about our difficulties and forget the real truth; that God has given us a real gift in this life. Our health is a gift, and even greater, the people in our lives are a gift. The people in our church are a gift to us. They love, support, and encourage us and, once in a while, they challenge us to be all we can be.
What if you had never entered Christ Church? Or, for some, what if your parents had never entered Christ Church? Those precious relationships that have given you joy would have never happened. The God we have come to know through our church involvement might never have become known to us.
I owe my church life and relationships, including the chance to meet my future wife, to a guy named Charles. After years away from the church, I decided to visit a church in my neighborhood. No one said anything to me going in but on the way out he stopped me and that began a new direction in my life.
When I have a Sunday off, I usually visit a church. Most of the time the people look friendly enough but they don’t talk to me unless I talk first. We tend to be nervous about connecting with strangers and it really shows when I am a guest at a worship service.
We have first-time guests in our worship more often than you might realize. Our usher/greeters are our official welcomers. They are charged with offering a friendly “welcome to Christ Church” to those who are new. This is a vitally important ministry for us. Although many may not be looking for a long conversation on a first visit, they surely want to be noticed. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling to not be noticed.
We, at Christ Church are very friendly people but even the friendliest people in the world may not notice a newcomer in our midst. When someone enters a church for the first time, they are here for a reason. Perhaps they are grieving a loss or searching for a renewed faith. The chances of them returning are far greater if a couple of people greet them along with the pastor.
So as we approach Thanksgiving and Christmas, let’s be on the lookout for those who are coming through our doors for the first time. You never know when a smile and a greeting can lead to a new direction in someone’s life and isn’t that what we’re all about anyway?