By Nathan Chapman…
How long has it been since you were someone else’s guest? Try to remember that right now. There have been many new faces at Exodus in the past several weeks. We typically experience an influx of people towards the second half of summer. That’s exciting! We love having new folks around. But there’s a much deeper value behind the desire to be friendly to our guests. We want people to have great joy—eternal joy that comes only through the experience of God Himself. Our hospitality is both an expression of the joy we’ve found in Christ and an invitation to join us. Both of these things are worth considering, strategizing about, and concerning ourselves with as we see guests on Sundays during our gathered time. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle of just getting your family to church on time.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Be early. I know, I know. You’re thinking it’s hard enough to get there on time. But make a plan and try to be early. It’s both easier to notice others and to welcome guests if you are not rushing in at the last minute.
- Be aware. Come to our gatherings aware that eternal things are happening. On any given Sunday there are people in the room who are hurting, confused, lost, and doubting. We tend to focus on connecting with the people we already know. Be aware of the new faces in the room and take action to show hospitality and answer questions. Communicate the truth that they are noticed and welcomed.
- Be a servant. The first way that we relay God’s good news to our guests is through our courtesy. Helping someone walk through the process of checking in their kids, finding them a seat, or helping them with coffee all can convey the beauty of the gospel before its message is spoken.
In the end, all of these things are part of proclaiming God’s goodness in the Gospel and seeing disciples made. Considering our front door for the guests who join us each week is an important part of the process. Please join me in praying for the families who continue to add to our numbers on Sunday.