Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. – Romans 12:9-13
People are searching for churches that make them feel welcome and loved, needed, and accepted. I have heard it said of guests coming to check out a church for the first time that “This Sunday is the only Sunday that counts.” The impressions that person makes of a worshiping community are quickly developed within minutes (or dare I say seconds?) of walking into a worship space.
Maybe you have felt that when you for came to Missio Dei Church. Have you ever arrived at a church, entered the hallways of one of the school or camp and despite your obvious “lostness” and active searching for signs and directions, passed by twenty or thirty people without anyone even nodding at you or offering to help you find your way? Maybe you experienced a rather cold feeling when needing to find a seat and sensing that you are intruding in on someone else’s space.
Over the past couple of months, we have already been blessed with new people coming and checking out who we are. It is an exciting experience to feel our worship space getting tighter and tighter. It also requires us to think about how we each practice hospitality. A congregation marked by a radical hospitality adopts an invitational posture that changes everything it does.
- We are keenly aware of the fact that there are people around us, first time guests, regular attenders, and members.
- We ask people what their names are and we do our best to remember them!
- We offer up those prime seats that we love.
- We offer tours around the building or help people know where important places are (restrooms, children’s ministry, donuts afterwards, etc.)
- We introduce guests to other people so that their connectedness can only grow!
- We say good-bye and tell them that we really hope they come back
- We invite them out for lunch or to our homes for a great home cooked meal.
The opportunities go on and on and on! As a community that has been deeply transformed and changed by Jesus himself, "Let love be genuine" and "practice hospitality."
What are some ways that we can "Let love be genuine" and "practice hospitality" starting with Sunday and going into the other six days?
(Here's a great sermon to listen to called Strategic Hospitality)
More in Pastor's Corner
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