Let’s be real. If the church– the gathered community of believers– are not a welcoming group of people, then who would want to stick around and find out more about who Jesus is and what He has done? The church desperately needs to be a welcoming community, inviting people to come and see this wonderful news that Jesus has given us. Just read the words Jesus spoke in the Gospel of John:
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
– John 13.35
Maybe it’s time that we, the church, should put a little more emphasis on being a welcoming community. I’m not talking about membership, just yet; that’s a different conversation altogether. What I am talking about is simply being welcoming to those who decide to come to our service. This could entail saying “hi,” “hello,” “how are you today?” or “glad you are here.” It could be anything, really! If church exists to simply say “hi” to our immediate group of friends, or to sit with those we know, then I think it is safe to say we are grossly missing the point. The gathered people of God exist to glorify Jesus, and that includes being welcoming to those we don’t know. Here is one more verse before we dive in with some amazing mini movies from Freebridge Media:
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
– Hebrews 13.2
This verse deals specifically with hospitality, but the concept of welcoming people, loving people, and of being hospitable to others all weave together into the point of loving others. That is absolutely something we are called to do.
If you decide to focus in on this theme one week during your services, then I encourage you to check out some of these mini movies from Freebridge Media that focus in on welcoming others.