Friday, August 31, 2012

How Ya Doin'?

“How ya doin'...?" 

"Well, fine, thanks for asking...”

     A few years ago there was a humorous commercial that featured a friendly guy from the south.  In this ad, someone would greet this extraverted guy by saying, “How ya doin’?”.  With every intention of just saying "HI’” and moving on, the innocent person in the commercial is then cornered by this talkative gentlemen. The super- conversationalist doesn’t mean any harm. He just wants to talk. He isn’t even aware that his new-found friend had no desire of getting into this interaction. But there they are... the overly hospitable and the “victim”.

     We have a unique and fun challenge of providing a warm, welcoming, and hospitable environment at church each week. We have new people visiting Orange Friends every weekend!  We don't want to overdo a hospitable greeting, but we wish to make it clear that we love having new people visit.  We love seeing the church grow, we love how we were welcomed when we first came, and wish to do the same for others.   

     Some of us may feel a little apprehensive at the thought of welcoming someone we don't know. We're on the other end of the spectrum from the “friendly guy from down south who just loves meetin’ strangers”.  Whatever your comfort level is for reaching out, there's a place for you with this special opportunity in Christ to welcome others in His name.

     Let me make the following suggestions as you and I seek to show hospitality to those on Sunday morning who are seeking a church home and/or a relationship with Jesus:

1.  Welcome them:  seek out the new face.

  •  When you find them- greet them with a warm hello and handshake.     (For the introverts- it's OK to offer a smile and a simple ‘good morning’ as you pass them.)                                                                                                                                                                           
  • Those more comfortable with carrying on a conversation, ask simple         questions, such as: “What's your name?”, “How long have you been coming            to Orange Friends?”, “How did you find us?”, etc.

2.   Invite them back!  Help the visitor make the bridge to the next service, event, or opportunity to build relationships with us and, ultimately, with Jesus Christ.  

  • Don’t assume someone else has this covered. 

  • Invite them to your small group. For some, this is a great way to get involved and    it will let people know what we value as a church- life in community with one    another!

3.  Pray for them.  

  • This will require you to remember their name, and will help you to greet them by name when they return!

     When people visit a church, they expect and desire to be treated with hospitality.  It can be uncomfortable, somewhat stressful, and difficult to find your way around a new place.  I mean, come on, nobody likes to feel like an outsider, right?  For many, this determines whether they ever come back into our building or not.  This is important work all of us can engage in - that is, without the cornering from a seemingly innocent and unsuspecting, “How ya doin’?”   ;-)

-Pastor David

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