“I love to hear that you are talking about this with your members — it means you really care about hospitality and that means a lot to someone who is visiting. This place is great!”
When I spoke to the Loyalty class last Sunday about our new Hospitality, Safety, and Security initiative, this was what one of our visitors shared with the class. I had the opportunity to speak with her personally afterward, and she told me even more about what she loves about our church.
What a joy it was to get to see our church through the eyes of such an impressed visitor! In fact, one of my favorite things about my new role as Director of Welcoming Ministries is getting to hear from visitors and brand new members about how excited they are to become a part of our church family. Often, their excitement is palpable and it always reminds me how fortunate we are to get to be part of the rich history and exciting future of this church.
After that conversation last Sunday, I stood for a moment on Fifth Street and took it all in: families pouring into and out of the Sanctuary for Children First and then our 11:00 am Sanctuary Worship service, our Chapel for DiscipleChurch and the 9:30 Traditional Worship Service, and Wesley Hall for our eleven:eleven celebration. Fifth Street, tented, decorated, and abuzz with activity as The Mission Teams Ministry Fair offered opportunity to learn more about our international missions in Kenya and Costa Rica; people eagerly taking sponsorship cards to support this vital work. The crowd of families gathered as Mr. Mark signed his new book, all royalties going to Mission Teams Ministries; lively music floating around us all as our 11:11 Band warmed up in Wesley Hall. I’ll have to tell you, I just wish everyone could have soaked up the richness of that moment as I did — it was heartwarming beyond words.
My experience last Sunday, from getting to know the Loyalty class to the scene on Fifth Street, reminded me yet again why I love it here — and why I’m so passionate about sharing that feeling with others. These sparks of pride always fuel my desire to share all of the wonderful opportunities we offer here for worship, service, and fellowship. And, when people respond to the information we provide by visiting and joining us, making sure they feel welcome is a joy we all get to share. So if you haven’t taken the time to chat with a new member, I really encourage you to give it a try the next time you have the opportunity. I promise it will be as delightful for you as it is welcoming for them!
See you Sunday!
Lisa Helm is the Director of Welcoming Ministries, a new ministry devoted to making sure all who enter our campus feel welcome, safe, and cared for by our Church — on Sundays and beyond!