Reflecting on Church #44: Welcoming Visitors as You Would Embrace Longtime Friends
With our journey of visiting fifty-two churches over, I can reflect more on the complete experience. Today, I’ll add to my thoughts about Church #44.
We revisited this church, which we attended some fifteen years ago. Though many of the people we knew then had scattered to other churches or just dropped out, a good number remained. I anticipated a time to reconnect with long-ago friends. Also, the congregation had grown, and there was a different minister. I wondered how much has changed.
Before and after the service, we didn’t put forth any effort to talk with anyone; we didn’t have to. People came to us in droves. We enjoyed their celebration of our presence, even though they came close to overwhelming us.
Although some churches embraced as well as visitors, none came close to the welcome this church gave us as longtime friends. This gives me pause. Do I give visitors the same attention and enthusiasm as I give to my friends? I don’t, but I should.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.