Recently members of the Lord’s church moved to another city due to a job transfer. They visited two congregations near their new home. Both congregations had a great reputation and came highly recommended. The couple and their children arrived early, stayed late, and made themselves available for fellowship. Yet despite their eagerness, no one from Congregation #1 greeted them or expressed any interest to invite them to come back. They contacted the preacher during the week and share their concern. The minister apologized.
The next week the family visited Congregation #2. During the next two visits to this congregation, dozens of people greeted them, two Bible classes invited them out to eat, four families had them into their homes, and they received numerous invitations to become a part of that congregation.
Guess which church this couple decided to attend and place membership with? The friendliness of Congregation #2 made a deep impression. The ten minutes before and after each service are significant times for our visitors and guests. Friendliness must be constantly practiced.
Every week we have several people visit our congregation, some for the very first time. Let’s get in the habit of greeting them, extending a hand, put on a smile, and making them feel welcome. May we, as a congregation of people who love the Lord, never lose sight that it’s good to be a Christian and know it, but it’s better to be a Christian and show it!
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35 ESV).