As I walked into a crowded room, I didn’t know where the person I was looking for was. My heart beat faster, I quickly scanned the room, as people looked at me, wondering who I was. I was unknown, but then my friend found me, calling me by name. I had become known. Have you ever experienced this, people wondering who you are, looking at you, but then looking away not bothering to help. What if this happened here at First Lutheran Church, where we are all too busy to notice or just not care that someone looks lost.
It’s not hard to notice someone unfamiliar with their surroundings. They move slowly, hesitantly, scanning the room looking, hoping to find a friendly face. When someone new comes into our church, they are looking to see if someone, anyone will take notice of them. I ask many times “how can I help you?” Not only do I ask those who are new but to anyone who looks lost. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had a whole team of people to help make everyone feel welcomed and known as they come into our church on Sundays, Wednesdays or any other time we gather here within our church. Each one of us longs to be known by others and it’s no different for those coming into our church for the first, second, or third time. Having a designated team of people to accomplish this, would make such a difference in the lives of our visitors and our members. We are all called to show hospitality; as Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers.” Since we are all called to show hospitality, then will God give each of us the ability to welcome the stranger into our church.
Within the year, we will be starting a greeter team, who will look for those who need help, visitor or member alike. They will be the ones to ask “how can I help you?” We won’t be necessarily standing in a line by the front doors, but mingling around the narthex helping anyone who needs our help and welcoming all to worship. Just think about it, when you are confused about a small group meeting, Sunday school, confirmation and anything that is happening, there will be someone to help. When a visitor comes to worship with us, they will be noticed, greeted and made known, by being welcomed into our church family. When a broken spirit comes into church, whether a member or visitor, is greeted warmly and asked “can I help you with anything?” then, God’s healing can begin. When we do these things, we have cared enough to have someone go from unknown to known and it’s as simple as a greeting and/or “how can I help?”
Begin praying that God will set hearts on fire and compassion to grow within us to be a church who welcomes everyone coming into our midst making sure that no one goes away feeling lost or forgotten. I pray that God will equip each of us to be a part of hospitality within First Lutheran Church, making God’s love known.