This month I would like us to consider the following question: How do visitors view Atonement?
Do visitors and outsiders to Atonement view us as warm and welcoming? Do they view us as friendly? I think so. At least, I have heard as much from visitors. This is good.
But what about another adjective. Do you think that visitors and outsiders to Atonement would describe us as ‘helpful’? Wouldn’t it be great if our congregation and its members had a resounding reputation of being a ‘helpful’ people? For, a helpful people is a servant-hearted people. Wouldn’t it be great to have the reputation of being ‘helpful, Christ-centered servants’?
I want to challenge us to also make an extra effort to be even more helpful to visitors and outsiders. So what are a few ways we can do this?
If it is true that outsiders and visitors might feel intimidated because they don’t know new people, then maybe we can make an extra effort to introduce ourselves and introduce those visitors and outsiders to other people. Maybe we can get to know more about them. Where are you from? What do you do for a living? Do you have a church home? Do you have any questions about our Church?
If it is true that outsiders and visitors might feel intimidated because they don’t know the culture of Atonement, then what can we do to help them understand who we are and why we do what we do? Are there ways that we can help them navigate the Lutheran Service Book better? Are they looking for a place to sit? Can we invite them to sit next to us? Can we help them find their way to the location for our fellowship hour? Can we invite them to Sunday School and the Adult Bible Study after the Divine Service?
If it is true that outsiders and visitors might feel intimidated because they don’t know the language of Atonement, then maybe we can be sensitive and explain some of the words and acronyms that we might take for granted—Church Council, Lay Ministers, LWML, etc.
As God’s redeemed people in Christ, the Spirit of God is at work in us producing all kinds of fruit. As we seek to be God’s redeemed, Christ-centered people here at Atonement, it is my prayer that we continue to be sensitive to how visitors and outsiders might be feeling. It is my prayer that in addition to being warm and welcoming, that we also be helpful, Christ-centered servants.