In my ebook on church hospitality sold on this website, I tell this story, told to me first hand from a friend.
I had only been a Christian for six months. Six years ago, we moved from Texas to Richmond and began to look for a Spanish language church. I didn’t find any for a few weeks, so my wife and I decided to attend an English language congregation.
We arrived and sat down in the pews, clearly the stranger.
We didn’t speak English at the time, so we really had no clue as to what was happening.
However, after church, all the people left.
We stood around, and guess what?
No one talked to us.
This church hospitality failure still hurt
Six years later, my friend tells me this story.
Tears form in the corner of his eyes as he recalled the pain.
Even though he didn’t speak English, he did know the word “Hello.”
I’m sure the church didn’t mean to cause harm.
I’m sure the church would be aghast that this story was even true.
But reality is, after a while, the church loses it’sÂ sensitivityÂ to the church visitor.
For this man, the pain still lingered.
A good welcome is the responsibility of the church
Part of the responsibility of every church is to welcome the church visitor in their midst.
Most churches say they do it.
Every church thinks it is friendly.
But my friend’s story above reminds me that we are friendly with each other, rather than reaching out to our church visitors.
My friend remembers that church six years later. Â Not the message that was preached, not the songs that were sung.
He only remembers no one said hello.
I wasn’t surprised, because I’ve had similar experiences when I visited churches.
Check out How To Welcome Church Visitors, my downloadable ebook for purchase.
This story, plus several others, are included to help you improve your 1st impressions for first time visitors.
Let me ask you this?
When you notice a stranger in your congregation, do you take theÂ imitativeÂ to welcome them?
Do you go beyond a handshake and “God bless you” and engage in conversation?