“Not enough room” is a descriptor of a situation or an environment that hinders a pathway. At church, those of us who are “regular attenders” can sometimes overlook the issues that hinder when “not enough room” makes it hard for guests to find a pathway into the church. As we approach Easter, let’s consider how we can show hospitality through our actions to make room for our Easter guests.
A Pathway to Community
In addition to your favorite place to park at church and your favorite place to sit, you also have your favorite people. When you arrive at church, you immediately look for your friend group – especially if it’s been a week since you have interacted with your church friends. Let’s be honest, if you have been part of your church family for an extended period of time, you are not coming to church looking for new friends. You have friends, but there are guests walking into your church who are first-time guests with no relationships. They need friends.
This week, consider these ideas to guide you to help guests find a way to the community at your church:
- Pay attention to the people around you. If you see a new person, introduce yourself to the person. Tell them how long you have been at your church and ask them how long they have been attending. (You can use this method of introduction to keep you from asking, “Are you a guest?” only to discover the person has been a member for years.)
- Ask if the person is part of a group. Clear the pathway for the person to go with you to your group or offer to take them to the welcome desk to get information about open groups they can join.
- Invite the guests to lunch. If going out to eat after worship is a normal part of your Sunday routine, invite the guests to join you at lunch to continue your conversation.
- Share your contact info. If you feel led, give the guests your cell number so that they can have access to a person at the church if they have a need. Ask them to text you their name so you can access their cell number if they wish to stay in touch.
- Introduce the guest to a staff member. If you can’t get to a staff member to make an introduction, you can later share with a staff member about the guests. Encourage the guests to complete a “Next Steps” card so that they can begin to receive information about the church.
The Lord uses pathways to lead people to places of repentance and life change because of the Good News of the Gospel. We read in Mark 1 that John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus by announcing His arrival and preparing the people to encounter Jesus. As believers, our hospitality prepares the way and clears the pathway for those who have yet to hear about Jesus or those who have yet to connect with our churches to hear and respond to the Gospel. May God open our eyes to the needs of others and allow us to place the needs of others above our own selfish preferences.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3