June 2013 - Pastors Newsletter Article

June 2013 - Pastors Newsletter Article

Picture of a Welcome Mat
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Do you remember the first time you visited this church? Did you walk in not knowing anybody? Did you encounter unknown faces, music, and habits? What made you feel welcome? What brought you back?

Since you received this newsletter you most likely worshipped with us; probably more than once. Some of you are longtime members. Many have recently started to worship and serve with us. Others are in the process of checking things out.

Each of us was at one time a “visitor.”

We are a congregation built upon honest relationships with God and each other – not pretense or false piety. Because we know we are sinners saved by grace we seek to extend that grace towards others. Each person participates and contributes as they are able. People are involved rather than spectators – a family rather than an audience. The concerns and joys of each person are shared by the others. Our greatest coordinated efforts are to serve others in Jesus’ name rather than ourselves. These are marks of the body of Christ.

God’s call is for us to invite people to take part in what God is doing in and through us. Signs, websites, special events, and follow-up programs all have their place but if love, relationships, and participation are distinguishing marks of this congregation then love, personal relationships, and involvement are the ways that we will grow and bear fruit for the kingdom of God. Each member of the congregation reaching out to their neighbors and coworkers is far more effective than the most costly advertising campaigns. Personal contact and care by the people of the church towards visitors and newcomers are far more effective than fancy brochures and unwanted mail stuffed in a mailbox.

Let us continue to dedicate ourselves to reaching out to those God brings in our doors on Sunday mornings. Here are a couple of ways you can help.

  • When you see someone you don’t know introduce yourself. If you forgot someone’s name ask.

  • Wear your nametag. We wear nametags to be helpful to other people. You can request a new or replacement name tag by putting your name on the clipboard by the nametag racks.
  • Try sitting in different places so you can meet different people.
  • Invite a visitor or someone you do not know to sit with you.
  • Don’t ask, “Is this your first time?” Instead, just introduce yourself and say that you are glad that they are here.
  • Say hello to a few people you don’t know before spending time with your good friends.
  • If someone wants to help – let them! If you can’t think of anything for them to do then invite them to do what you were doing.
  • For bonus points, try contacting someone you recently met during the week instead of waiting until Sunday.

Churches don’t grow by accident and neither do relationships. I rejoice that Jesus left his comforts and privileges to reach out to us. I pray that we will continue to demonstrate this love to others.

Your brother in Christ,