Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Most Important Ministry of All

Each day, countless people wake up feeling lost or lonely. They yearn for greater purpose and meaning in their lives.

Feeling this way, they sometimes come to church, hoping to find one kind of salvation or another. They may come reluctantly, or possibly even fearful. Going someplace where you don't know anyone can be scary.

All too often, first-time visitors have a negative experience. Current members often sit far away from visitors in the pews. Few members, if any, speak to visitors, even during coffee hour. If visitors experience loneliness on their first visit, they won't want a repeat performance.
Your church has lost a potential new member forever.

I can't tell you how many times people have said to me, "When I was new here, it was one person who made the difference, one person who said hello to me when I was a stranger.
I've never forgotten it."

Anyone can be that "one person who makes a difference," whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, or somewhere in between. Congregations truly wishing to make a difference in people's lives can demonstrate this by making the stranger feel welcome.

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