Pastoral Perspectives

Welcome One Another

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

A smile makes a lot of difference.  When we greet each other with a smile, it gives you that warmth feeling.  It also gives you the sense of being accepted and well received.  You will also feel the sense of being welcomed!  How would it be like if every time you come to church, you are greeted with a gloomy face?  You would immediately be turned off or put off, right?  Of course, as God’s people, we do not want to see that kind of thing happening in our midst.

Recently, I have caught again this idea of “Welcome One Another”.  This year, at our church prayer meeting in January, I put up several prayer requests on “Welcoming Community” for the people to pray.  In order to become a Welcoming Community, I think we need to start off this journey by committing this matter to God in prayer.  Here are the suggested prayers:

  1. Pray that worshippers will demonstrate love to newcomers and guests who come each Sunday.
  2. Pray that Welcome Team members will be able to connect well with each newcomer and do the necessary follow-ups.
  3. Pray that Discipleship Group (DG) members will not only reach out to their own DG members but also extend love and care to newcomers and guests.
  4. Pray that all will look out for one another so as to have good fellowship and prayer together.
  5. Pray that no one will be left out but all are fully and warmly welcomed.

Let us begin by greeting one another with a smile and with this phrase: “Peace be with you!”  Next, let us give a word of affirmation to each other.  This word of affirmation is the need of the hour and for every believer in Christ.  When we affirm the good thing or work which the other person has done, we actually allow them to feel accepted and included in the community.  They would not feel left out or even neglected or ignored.  They would feel glad that they are in this community.  Each worshipper is important in the building up of the Body of Christ here at True Way.  No one should feel lonely or not being cared for.  What binds us together?  The bond of peace and love binds us together in Christ.  Let us, therefore, desire peace for others and for ourselves.  So, make peace with each other.  So, also make effort to bridge the gap, to initiate reconciliation as well.  With the grace and help of God, it is not impossible.  Work towards having a peaceful environment around us.  Look out for one another and think of ways to welcome each other.  By our warm welcome of each other, it will create a good atmosphere for our guests and newcomers.  It will also enhance our bond of peace and love with one another.

I have extracted from a bookmark which Rev Lee Kien Seng did a few years ago on “A Welcoming Community”.  How do we actually welcome one another?  Here are the suggested ways to welcome one another:

  1. You can consider about serving in the Welcome Team.
  2. You can begin by giving a sincere smile.
  3. You can share your Bible with the one seated next to you during Sunday service.
  4. You can sense whom the Holy Spirit would want you to speak to.
  5. You can step out of your comfort zone.
  6. You can spend time with someone after the service before doing anything else.
  7. You can say word of affirmation or encouragement to others.

So, to sum it all here, I have seven “S” for you to consider: Serving, Smile, Share, Sense, Step, Spend and Say.

Remember the verse, Romans 15:7, at the beginning.  When we welcome one another as Jesus has welcomed us, we do all this for the glory of God.  With this in mind, let us, henceforth, prayerfully and purposefully work on this, that is, welcome one another, to bring glory to God!