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Guests or Hosts?

A friend of mine once spoke to a businessman at the back of a church and as he looked around the church he made a casual but profound observation.

Most people in church think of themselves as guests rather than hosts.

A host is someone who takes responsibility for the welcome and hospitality of people that visit. Imagine someone comes into your house, would you carry on talking to a friend in the living room and leave them to wander around looking for the kettle?! I sort of hope not, I think instead you would stop your conversation, get up offer them tea, coffee and possibly even a biscuit or two!

In church we can forget that because we are so familiar with the place and the people that other people can kind of look after themselves. But we forget that we as individual believers and followers of Jesus together are the church. We make up the welcome of Jesus into His house, the church.

So someone coming in for the first time should constitute an emergency, is some only getting to know people in the church? Are we making an effort to take responsibility for our part in the welcome etc, the church that someone experiences? Our part in the welcome is not to be outsourced to a member of staff, but it something that we each hold to share. Our belonging is the training and resourcing for our welcome. The more a church is your home, the more welcome you can offer to a stranger. And sometimes there are people in our church that might still be a stranger even though they have been around for a year or more! So let me ask again, are you a guest in church, or are you ready to be a host?

Pastor Tom

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