Until God ordains otherwise, a man ought to bear patiently whatever he cannot correct in himself and in others. Imitation of Christ by John Kempis

Visitors Wounded at Church

How many times have you been to new church gatherings and ignored? Not one person talked to you. Perhaps this occurred on more than one occasion. There is no place for this rudeness in a Christian church.
So let’s discuss some of the situations that many encounter before deciding not to return to the church. When you come for the first time to a service and everyone there knows the procedure except for you, like special books that are up front that you use, and no one informs you it will be needed. It is humiliating to stand there with no book, while all are reading together.
When an entrance is changed and you do not know where to go, you feel excluded. Especially if someone saw you go in the wrong entrance and did not tell you.
They announce that coffee and donuts are in the hall and you go thinking that this is an opportunity to meet everyone, and no one talks to you. They stay in their little clicks and ignore everyone else. If you strike up a conversation and they give you a sarcastic comment and then ignore you. You think that at coffee and donuts you will be able to meet the Religious leader and they are not there to greet you.
There is no excuse for apathy and selfishness for Christian leaders and shepherds.
Even worse, you are ignored and you still volunteer anyway, and someone else takes credit for your work.
Where is the gratitude, when you volunteer many hours of your time with no thank you. Better yet the message is to be humble and don’t take any of my time.
Some of these practices have been adopted and repeated for so long it has become the norm. The rules of obedience have been used to persecute for far too long. The rules of the Pharisee’s put Jesus on the cross. The Pharisee’s had their favorites and all others were judged and criticized. Religious leaders should not have favorites because it hurts the Body of Christ.
Every situation that causes exclusion hurts the Body of Christ. All are watching Christians and we are not giving them a good example of what the scripture teaches. It is so important to listen to what a new person is saying and not show them that you know more than them. Just because you were there first does not give you the right to lord it over newcomers. It causes them to feel like they are trying out for a country club and have to be approved. In this world where everyone has to spend so much time surviving , it is easier to move on and not return to church.
The church is supposed to be a place that elevates you from the world to a place of unconditional love. A place where you can go and learn about Jesus through the actions of loving Christians, and you are inspired to follow their good example. A healing place that you that builds you up, and has patience when you are in need. When you receive a message that you are taking up too much time or not important enough, it hurts. Who wants to be treated that way in the world no less in a place of God. When it happens in church it sends a message that you are somehow inferior and that you are not welcome. Either way it is a good part of why numbers are dwindling. Christian leaders need to repent and get rid of fear!

The solution is really simple. Use the Bulletin to remind everyone on appropriate ways to welcome and embrace newcomers. Use scripture;

“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?” Matthew 5:46-48

“When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing.” Luke 9:11

“When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them.” Acts 15:4

“When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them.” Acts 15:4

“Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” Romans 15:7

These scriptures shows a Christian community without fear but showing perfect love. We as a church need. to take the advice of scripture an live it everyday to the best of our ability with God’s help. We need reminding not to love just our friends but everyone, it says that Jesus welcomed and then healed and we should do the same, the church should declare all that God has done for them and do it all for Gods Glory. We should go out into the world and bring them back to the church. The beginning church had signs and wonders that brought everyone to them. We need to do the same. Not be afraid of the Holy Spirit but open to it.

If you do not make the people feel at home in the church they will not make it their home.

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