From Dave Kaynor:
At almost every one of our Monday staff meetings, Bob mentions the names of new people he met the previous day. He also asks us who we met. (Now this is kind of unfair, because as the senior pastor and the regular preacher, we literally invite people to go meet him after church -- he totally has an advantage on the rest of us! Of course, we never say this in the meetings...)
So looking out for newcomers has now become more of a habit, and when possible, I try to make my way through the Worship Center before the service, greeting people and meeting anyone new I might see. I received an email the other day from a member that said, “I want to give you my heartfelt thank you for last Sunday coming and greeting [person’s name]…” Now what did I do that deserved a heartfelt thanks? Nothing amazing, nothing extraordinary, just a "Hello" and "How are you?" and a follow up question or two kind of thing. Yet clearly it was meaningful to this person.
A couple Sundays ago I was eating breakfast (channeling Bob) when I decided to send an email to my entire member care group, challenging them to meet someone new or find someone they could encourage that day. I had two ladies take up the task AND report back. What an encouragement to hear from them and what an encouragement to the people that they met!
There are many Sundays when I don’t meet someone new. Sometimes it’s because I don’t try, and other times, despite my efforts, it just doesn’t happen. Some days it's easier than others. Some days I feel more like doing it than others. But Galatians 6:9 says, "And let us not grow weary of doing good." And Philippians 2:4 says, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Here are a few ways for us to think less of ourselves and more of others the next time we are at church:
* As already mentioned, greet someone new. If you're unsure if they are new or not, just say, “I don’t think I have met you, my name is ______” and go from there.
* Sit in an area where you don’t usually sit in ABF or the service. Derek has been giving us opportunities to greet mid-service. Now you are ready!
* Get to the Worship Center before the countdown timer expires. Your on-time presence is an encouragement to everyone who has planned the service and also helps reduce distractions when you arrive late.
* When you get to the Worship Center early, look around you and connect with someone... don’t just sit there waiting for someone to greet you. Wouldn't it be cool if you went to greet someone as they were coming to greet you?
Press on Cornerstone!