What if I told you there are three things you can do this Sunday that require very little ffort and have the potential for a huge return? The bargain hunter in you likes that, right? Well, grab yourself a pen and paper and I'll fill you in on these spiritual bargain buys.
1. Be mindful of where you sit. Many have been coming to this church for a long time and probably can't remember what it was like to walk in for the first time. But each week we have families that are visiting our church for the first time in hopes of finding a church to call home. One thing I have noticed is that they typically come in right at the time for service to start. That's the time that most are already seated. it becomes difficult for them to find a place to sit. They are looking longways across the worship center rather than coming in from the back middle like most worship centers. New people want to find a close, accessible seat and sit down as quickly as possible.How can you help:
Try to find a place to land on the west end of the worship service. This allows new families better visibility to find available seats.
Don't cap the end of the rows if there are available seats toward the middle. I know that is prime real estate but it makes it incredibly awkward for people to have to ask you to move or squeeze in front of you to get to an available seat.
2. Be hospitable. It's true that we have a great team of greeters. Our church is blessed by their service and their smiles. But honestly, we expect them to smile and offer a warm welcome. After all, that's their job right? It's all of our jobs to be loving to one another. I want to challenge you to meet someone you've never met before at church. Get up and introduce yourself and give them a welcome and take your cues from their response. Any church can be intimidating to visitors. The fact that they have made it through the door should be so encouraging. Go say hi. What's it gonna cost you? What is the potential reward?
3. Be a prayer. This one has probably the biggest reward of all!. Take time in the worship service Sunday morning to pray over an empty seat near you, the row you're sitting on, the family you just met, the preaching, the worship. You get the idea. The famous missionary, Hudson Taylor, once said, "It is possible to move men, through God, by prayer alone." And the One Hudson gave his life to follow said, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7)
Church shopping is not fun. Especially since the pandemic changed the church dynamics across the US. In church, we don't make eye contact anymore, shake hands, and especially go across the room to welcome someone new. We don't even have to physically go to church anymore if a church offers TV or online viewing.
As followers of Jesus, not "Christians" we must be like our Savior and not a seat occupier. HE served, HE went, HE walked, He wept, HE had compassion, HE touched. HE taught, HE led, HE fed, and most importantly HE gave himself up for us.
Sure it's uncomfortable and awkward to greet the new people but as a new person it's worth it to have someone extend a hand to day hello and to help you feel welcome.
By the way thank you Pastor for going out of your way to welcome us.
Thanks for your thoughts on this. Great reminder of what Jesus did for us.
I’m glad you feel welcomed.