December 23, 2016

Welcomed By the Church

In some churches the pastor seems to rush around the auditorium trying to speak to and shake hands with one or two members of the congregation prior to the service. I recently visited a church where ushers, leadership and the pastor were all in the foyer welcoming members and visitors (170 in attendance). The pastor appeared so prepared for the service and with his sermon that he could put on a host-hat and welcome the entire flock into fellowship. I have to say I was impressed and I felt as though I was being welcomed by the whole church, not simply a door greeter handing me a bulletin. I suspect Paul and Barnabas had a similar reaction when they went to see apostles and the elders, “When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them” (Acts 15:4 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----Truly the life of the Lord’s body gets folded up and packed tightly into an hour and fifteen minutes, or so, once a week. Add another hour for those few who value learning enough to attend Sunday school. It’s no wonder we find mostly tokens of greeting and fellowship there. And the service? Most all the service is for the worship service. There are not even tokens of serving one another. I guess that’s why the communion meal is portioned for a mouse.
-----Personally, I think it is rather unfortunate that the service to one another, the fellowship, the encouragement, etc. happen behind the scenes by the faithful core of each church. It still doesn’t make the church the community it should be. But their service is real, intentional, and deliberate even though it is usually scheduled and programmed.
-----But the new life of the body is brutally tough. The most of it doesn’t happen at church or any of church’s programs. It doesn’t matter how small or short of hot a person’s faithfulness is. Everyone born again has the Holy Spirit’s indwelling. When the Spirit needs an effect for the work He’s doing in another, He will direct somebody’s footsteps to its provision, even without anyone knowing what’s going on.
-----I would have a bigger more deliberate community of encouragement and up-building. But one thing we can always know about the Lord is that the things of the present moment are the exact shape He needs them to be, even if the shape looks like it should not be. Everything serves His purpose. Everything is flowing in a unified stream towards Jesus’ reign in Jerusalem. It’s just not quite so obvious to us who are blessed with only the sights and sounds of immediately proximate physical objects, and so must imagine the rest.

Love you all,
Steve Corey