18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. Matthew 4:18-20
The mission of the United Methodist Church is to make Disciples of Christ for the transformation of the world. Jesus used his Disciples to grow the Kingdom of God. Taking the love of Christ to others is what it means to be a fisher of men. Acts of intentional hospitality remove barriers to people engaging in a life with Christ. Those acts also mean you are serving God (as well as serving your church and ultimately serving others) by helping grow the Kingdom.
So what can you do? Commit to practicing the “three-minute rule” — which simply means take three minutes you are here each Sunday to look around and see if you spot someone you don’t know or someone who looks lost. Introduce yourself and say, “I don’t think we’ve met.” One of two things will happen: they will tell you they have been a member at FUMCFW for 20 years — which is awesome because you just made a new church friend. The other possibility is they will tell you they are visiting — which gives you the opportunity to let them know how glad you are they are joining us, as well as share some of the things you love about First Church or answer any questions they may have.
Hospitality done well creates an opening for the Holy Spirit which opens the door to life change. Bottom line: how we do hospitality can either bring someone closer to God, or it can push them away. Imagine what FUMCFW would look like if there was a church-wide effort of intentional hospitality and everyone made a commitment to practice the “three-minute rule!” I can’t think of a better, more meaningful way to spend three minutes!
Director of Welcoming Ministries