My mind was made up, I was headed to Wal-Mart before the heat. 8 am didn’t really beat the heat but at least I was able to park in the shade. As I walked in the door an obviously morning person shouted, “hello, how are you?” She was over weight, plain and certainly enjoyed her greeting job.
My checkers ( I had two) were equally cheerful, we chatted about produce, gardening, and the fact that it was a lousy year for squash and tomatoes but there were plenty of other great things in his garden. They sacked my groceries, took my money and sent me on my way.
As I left the store the same cheerful woman bid me a cheerful goodbye. Her good-bye was musical in tone, odd for a greeter at Wal-Mart.
You already know where I am going with this if you don’t your blessed. My plea is to make members and visitors feel as welcome at church as I felt at Wal-Mart. This should be easy and yet it doesn’t always happen. I am still on the kick of let’s visit with one another, smile, chat a little after church and before. Let’s show ourselves friendly, make a joyful noise and shout a greeting.
These street signs were all around the streets hear the Georgia Dome
The 59th Session of the SDA General Conference was in Atlanta, GA. It was a glorious sight to see 70,000 people who believe just like I do. Is this a correct statement? I think not!
What a sight
It was very obvious, as I sat in on some of the business sessions, that we are certainly not all of one mind on a lot of subjects. We for sure are not of one mind on appropriate dress or even life style. In the Georgia Dome, Starbucks was closed after the first day of the session.
What I did notice is we are all looking forward to the coming of Jesus and we are excited about spreading the Good News.
There were some surprises! This is a time when some people are not re-elected, that means they no longer have a job. In most cases I think this comes as a surprise but what do I know, I am just a casual observer. Another surprise is the vote to ordain deaconesses, this vote passed by a large number.
Are you holding your breath about the ordination of women into the ministry? Maybe that’s not an important subject for you. I will tell you this it did come up and it was agreed to ask Andrew’s University to study ordination. Later another vote on the subject was that the General Conference will study the subject of women’s ordination and bring a report back to The Annual Council. You ask what does all of this mean? IDK I have a guess but think I will keep that to myself. LOL
I really wanted to try but I just never got around to it LOL
One of my favorite parts of the whole experience were the people and the many different outfits
This is my favorite picture and I had to beg this lady to let me take it
To end a great week, in Chicago I met my little family from Singapore and we were on the same plane to Lincoln, Nebraska. It was music to my ears to hear those little people scream “GRAMMY” when I walked up to the gate. I sat with Rylin and occupied her with my purse for a long time. Lincoln sat across the aisle from me and explained exactly what the plane would do to get off the ground. Katie was asleep on her daddy’s shoulder before the plane left the ground and Jacie had a chance to ride with another adult for about 45 minutes before RyRy wanted MOMMY.
The Lord is good, I saw much evidence of his working during the 59th Session of my church.
This is the last of the posts on making sure your church is friendly, not only to visitors but to members. It is possible to feel alone and lonely when you have been a church member for a very long time.
Think about this, there is no way you would invite someone to your home and then just sit there and never say a word. Yet when we walk into the sanctuary have you noticed we usually just sit down. Last summer the AC in our church had to be replaced. It was the usual hot summer and we decided to meet in our upstairs fellowship hall. We only had chairs to sit on but it worked. In my book it really worked. I noticed people actually talking to each other, they would even turn the chairs around and visit. There was a wonderful, warm, friendly feeling in the fellowship hall. As soon as we moved back to the sanctuary we fell back to our old ways of just walking to our same spots and sitting.
Smile! A smile makes your face attractive. It makes your face welcoming. Greet Everyone with a smile. We have a man in our church, his name is Dan. He is always so upbeat and has a great big smile on his face, he makes everyone feel welcome and worthwhile.
Sometimes the drive to church is not always a pleasant one. At my house we are usually running very late and I am not always a happy camper by the time we leave for church. At my daughter’s house it is always a rush to find the shoes, jackets and the to do bag. By the time we arrive at church we would have reason to have a frown on our face. Take a moment to warm up your smile by thinking of the good things in your life and thanking God for his blessings.
Don’t overlook the importance of greeting the people you meet with a smile and shake hands to those around you. Do this before and after every service. Learn their names. Even if your church has official greeters, you’re not off the hook. When church is over don’t rush out the door, stay by and visit a little and greet those who have been sitting around you.
The last thing I want to say on this is to thank the people serving. Smile and say thanks to at least 3 people each week. Some of these people may be paid others are volunteers but thank them for what they do.
Well, there you have it! I would love to hear some success stories from you. Mother Teresa said, “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”
Do you feel like your church is the friendliest place in town? If you don’t or if I don’t we need to do something about that. Yesterday I posted about the 5 important things that make people feel welcome at church. Now I’m not just talking about visitors I am talking about church members. Do you know church members can feel very lonely at church?
People want to feel comfortable at church. They want comfortable seating and easy to follow signage. They also love to have their names used. It ‘s important to learn about your fellow church members and to express genuine interest in them and their family.
People also want a relaxed fit! Sounds like we are buying a pair of jeans doesn’t it? Think about this. Once we’ve been going to a church for a while it starts to feel pretty routine. We know our way around and certainly know what’s expected. For guests, the church can seem pretty daunting and foreign at first, especially if it is a big church. Help people feel at ease by letting them know your church is a safe place to be and they are welcome no matter what.
If you see someone wandering the halls looking lost ask them if you can help. I have actually seen people leave a meeting because they couldn’t find a place to sit. Move over and invite a stranger or a church member to sit with you, you can do that with a smile, a nod or a motion.
Stick around–most of the time once we hear the last amen we are on our feet and ready to head for home. Those moments after the service don’t need to be rushed. Take time to say hello to the people who were sitting around you. One study showed that visitors felt more welcomed when someone talked to them after the service than before.
It’s not always easy to put these things into action especially if it isn’t natural. I do believe we are called to be friendly even if it’s difficult.