For someone new to walk into a church takes an immense amount of courage – it really does. Not everyone is a massive extrovert who assumes people want to talk to them! For most people it takes a lot of strength to just walk in the door of a new church.
Now, suppose you are new and you make it in the front door – what do you see?
Heaps of people looking at you, probably! Which can be a little unnerving.
Then you sit down – and church might be pretty good. Decent sermon, decent music - you feel like you might want to come back. But that’s all going to depend on the next 5-10 minutes.
The people who are already part of the church – this is where YOU come in.
Your job – ALL OF YOU – though not all at once (that would be too much) – all of you need to be on the look-out for new people.
Walk over – this is your turf – so you’re safe. Walk over and say g’day. Ask how they’re going. What they thought of church? Where they’re from? Are they working, studying, or doing an arts degree (come on, that was funny).
Then ask them to join your group of friends for dinner or wherever you’re going.
Now, they might say ‘No’ this week. But they’ll say yes the week after – because they want to know if you were fair dinkum.
All churches have cliques – when I was a young bloke we had them (well, we just had one – it was a small church). But cliques are a good thing – if we harness their power…
Have an open clique – and invite new people into it. Think like a Christian on mission – how can you serve the people who come into you church – be over the top welcoming!
You might just be the link in the chain that keeps a brother or sister in a solid church so they are able to reach their full potential for their Lord.
Steve Wakeford, Associate Minister