Thursday, August 23, 2007

Come on in.

What is the first thing people say to you when you walk into church? What about when you walk into a department store, or grocery store? Do they say anything at all? Do they have a big smile on their face and they just can't wait to greet you, so they walk towards you with their arms outstretched ready to greet you? Maybe they are just standing there and you know they really don't want to be there at all, but they have to. Do you even notice if there is someone to greet you when you walk into a restaurant or church, or are you too preoccupied with the list in your hand, the children at your side, and the time on the clock to pay attention?
What we say to someone the moment they walk into our place can affect their whole attitude the remainder of their stay with us. You certainly don't greet people who come to your home with a frown and a gruff tone of voice - "Come in. The house is a mess. We knew you were coming, but didn't care to clean up." Or, do you welcome people into your home with a smile and a cheerful tone - "Come on in. We've taken care of everything! We're so glad you could make it. Please make yourself comfortable and at home. We've made some snacks."
What welcoming words would make you want to come in and would help to set the tone for the visit. Think about how you greet people when they come to church. Do your words and actions make them want to stay, or turn around and run right out the door?