From Majesty in Motion (Creating an Encouragement Culture in All You Relationships)
By Stewart Brown
A Frontline Ministry
Seek to understand the culture and personality of your church so that you can be truly helpful in welcoming newcomers and assisting them in feeling at home there. Know your own identity (who you are in Christ) so that your responses can be clear, confident, and helpful to all who enter each week.
Welcoming others in a church or group context requires answers to three basic questions.
1. WHO AM I?
I am a representative of God and for my church. “We are Christ’s ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to you” (2 Corinthians 5:20, NL T).
I am a partner in our church family. “Through us God caused you to believe. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. My job was to plant the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God, not we, who made it grow. The ones who do the planting or watering aren’t important, but God is important because he is the one who makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work as a team with the same purpose. Yet they will be rewarded individually, according to their own hard work. We work together as partners who belong to God” (1 Corinthians 3:5-9, NL T). “May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other-each with the attitude of Christ Jesus toward the other. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:5-6, NL T).
I am a friend, “Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers” (Hebrews 13:2, NL T). “When God’s people are in need, be the one to help them out And get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner or, if they need lodging, for the night” (Romans 12:13, NL T).
Character requirements: a humble spirit (Ephesians 4:2; Romans 12:16), a willing attitude (Romans 12:13), and a servant mindset (Mark 10:43-45).
2. WHY AM I DOING THIS?
I believe that God has called me to this ministry.
“Lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called of God” (Ephesians 4: 1, NL T). “He was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts” (Acts 11:23). “Let us encourage one another” (Hebrews 10:25).
I have a passion to share the mind of Christ with others. “Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too” (Philippians 2:3-4, NL T). See also Philippians 2:5.
I am committed to communicate the mission of our church. (~s each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts [members] grow, so that the whole body [church] is healthy and growing and full of love” (Ephesians 4:16).
3. WHAT Is MY ROLE?
Be spiritually prepared (Bible study, prayer, worship, and witness).
Confess any known sin in my life to God.
I seek to be flexible, loving, and sensitive to the needs of those who enter our church (Romans 12:9-10).
I strive to earn the respect of our church so that in my role as a leader, I can truly help grow our church (Philippians 2:29).
As people enter, I silently pray for visitors and members even as I welcome them.
It’s not about me. It’s about God. If it’s about God, it must be about others (2 Corinthians 8:9).
Source: Brown, Stewart; ‘Majesty in Motion’ p199-201; Word Alive Press; Winnipeg, MB, 2009