Isn’t it wonderful having so many new people joining us at church over these past few weeks, as people have moved to Adelaide for work or study! It’s a reminder to us of the importance of being a church where people are welcomed, and helped to integrate into our community. Our Heavenly Father has welcomed us, bringing us salvation in Christ when we were still his enemies (Romans 5:10). That’s why we want to be people who welcome others into our community, so that they can hear about Jesus and trust in him, and keep growing in their faith.
How will that impact what we do on Sundays? Think about it in terms of being a host. If you have people over to your house, you’ll:
- Be there when they arrive: get to church before it starts (newcomers often arrive early).
- Help them to feel comfortable: show them to a seat and sit with them, introduce yourself.
- Anticipate their needs: explain how the children’s programs work, walk out with them to morning tea/supper in the yard and get them a drink.
- Introduce them to others.
Here are a few other tips:
- Name tags are really useful!
- The good old U-shaped/open circle is helpful to remember during morning tea/supper, so that a group of people talking is always open to more people joining (it’s intimidating to break into a closed circle).
- If you feel uncertain about approaching new people (and remember that they may well be feeling uncertain being in a new place themselves!), take someone else with you.
It’s such a great privilege to be able to meet freely in the name of the Lord Jesus—let’s make the most of it, and be active in welcoming and integrating others, with the ultimate aim of them trusting in Jesus.