It takes people to reach people. The truth (that you see again and again in scripture) has really been driven home to me as we get ready to welcome in some new members to Christ Church. As I meet with people and hear their story about how they came to faith and why they want to be part of Christ Church, some mention how they feel really connected to our music, others how the preaching seems to go straight to their heart, but by far the most common denominator is that they were greeted by people in the church and reached out to beyond just a “hi” on Sunday. There are stories of invitations to eat meals, come to game nights, come to small group, dropping off food, hanging out at block parties, meeting up at coffee shops and the park. This is so encouraging to hear as this is the type of church we want to be. We want to be a church where everyone is on the “greeting team.” Greeting others isn’t just for a few who have the badge “greeter”, but is a responsibility we all should feel as we have been commanded to “welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you for the glory of God.” (Rom 15:7 ESV)
It is not an exaggeration to say that the number one reason people move from just being one time visitors, or long term spectators (those who come and leave, and don’t want to get involved) is the relationships they develop with people in the church. It is encouraging to hear how some members of our church are so intentional in pursuing those who come through our doors.
However, it does make me wonder what could happen if we all embraced this calling. From my seat upfront I do see many people get engaged after the service, but I also see others who aren’t engaged. I see the awkward looking around wondering what to do and then just heading out, because no one is talking to them. It makes me wonder what God could do, if every member of our church took up the responsibility and calling to reach out to others and greet them. What would happen if the first thing we did when the music ended was to look for someone, a couple, who are by themselves, someone we don’t know and went to greet them? That seems like a pretty small step. But greeting others is often what will either make or break a person’s church experience.
So will you greet someone this Sunday? Will you look for the person who seems to be alone? Maybe it will be someone who is coming for the first time, or maybe it will be someone who comes often, but just isn’t relationally connected yet. I don’t know who God will direct you to, but I do know that He wants each of us to come to our Sunday Service not just to be built up in our faith, but used by Him to touch the lives of others.
It takes people to reach people. May we all be people who seek to reach out to people, for the cause of Christ.