Recently our Church hosted its first Senior Citizen’s luncheon as an opportunity for our older generation to spend some time together. It was a wonderful time of food and fellowship. I then offered a short devotional thought and a few announcements about our Easter programs. Finally, I asked the big questions, “Does anyone else have anything they would like to know about?”
Quickly a response came from a lady asking if everyone would take a minute to introduce themselves and say one or two things about their lives. One by one we went around the room, and each person took an opportunity to speak. Many of the people mentioned marriage and family details while several made comments about the Church.
I am happy to say that most of the people are enjoying my ministry and the sermons I give each week. They felt the worship program on Sunday morning was a blessing, and they stayed with the Church because of it. But that is not all people stated they liked about our community of believers. The other response given was that the people of the Church were friendly. Upon their first visit, they were greeted with kindness and warmth, often like an old friend.
My mind reached two conclusions about the ministry of the Church.
1. It doesn’t matter how good the preaching or the worship program is each week if the people are not friendly.
2. It doesn’t matter how friendly a Church is each week if the people are not taught the Bible in a way that challenges and encourages them.
A Church does not reach people with the gospel of Jesus if either of these parts of the Church is lacking.
The reason I draw your attention to these simple truths is that Easter is this Sunday. I have been planning and preparing the best sermon I can preach. I have spent hours reading, thinking, praying and preparing so that people will be blessed by the worship and the word. My part is done. If you do not attend the Church I lead, I am sure you preacher has done the same. This day has been circled on their calendar for months, and they have done their best work this week.
This leaves only one part of the equation left to make this work. That is your part. One of the most significant ways you can make an impact for the kingdom of God this weekend is to be friendly. Take time to speak to strangers. Introduce yourself and ask questions. Smile and be polite.
A Church does not reach people merely through one person with a good sermon. It takes everyone working together to make a difference for Jesus.