This Week @ Great Hills

September 19, 2014

We had a great turnout on Wednesday night as we kicked off many of our fall ministries. Our choir, orchestra, band, and praise team had their rehearsals; our student ministry had a packed house for Elevate with a full student-led band; our children’s choirs and Awana had a fantastic first night; and our adult classes got off to a great start as well. I am grateful that Great Hills is able to provide the following ministries for our adults on Wednesday nights: Celebrate Recovery, Divorce Care, Boundaries, Intimate Encounters, a Beth Moore Bible Study for women, Life Bridge ESL classes, and a Bible study led by our own Billy Sanders.

Because I was in a meeting for almost two hours with our Finance Committee on Wednesday evening, I was unable to see all that was happening on our campus. God is working in so many ways. Please keep praying, showing up, serving, and giving your tithes and offerings so that we can be a radiant church that reaches many with the Gospel of Jesus.

Every Sunday God brings new people to our church. Many of them will return and eventually make GHBC their church home if we will only love on them and make them feel at home. Help me this Sunday with this simple exercise—when you see someone you do not recognize, introduce yourself to them, personally welcome them and ask if you can help them in any way. I read an article by Diana Davis on this very subject recently. I have copied a portion of it below for you to read. Please make sure you read the last part about the young couples who visited many churches.

Have a great weekend. God loves you and is for you. See you Sunday. Invite someone to join you in Bible Life and Worship. I am preaching from Revelation 6:12-17 and very much looking forward to preaching God’s Word!

Enjoy the article below!

Danny Forshee

Luke 15:22-24

Tips to connect with guests:

  1.  Make a personal commitment to intentionally “connect” with one guest every Sunday. Ask God to make you aware of visitors. Be diligently alert — in the parking lot, foyer, nursery, hallway, worship service — to notice them. If you accidentally welcome someone who isn’t a guest, no problem — you’ve found a new friend.
  2.  Once you’ve met a newcomer, pray for God’s guidance. Smile, greet the guest warmly and introduce yourself. Pay careful attention to the person’s name. Repeat it. Write it down. You will want to speak his or her name the next time you see each other.
  3.  Chat casually and purposefully. You may ask, “Is this your first time to worship here?” Ask nonintrusive questions such as, “Did you just move to town?” or “What brought you to church today?” Warning: Never ask, “Are you a native here?” That reeks of cliquism that can leave guests feeling they aren’t welcome unless they’re from your town.
  4.  As you chat, listen carefully to find things you have in common. Most importantly, offer friendship. Make a plan to get together during the week. For example: Invite them to join you for lunch, meet for coffee or be your guest at an upcoming church event.
  5.  Give guests your email or phone number and ask for their contact info. Call them Tuesday to remind them of the kids’ Wednesday program or on Saturday to say, “I hope you come back again tomorrow. I’ll save you a seat.”
  6.  Help the guest connect with at least one other person at church. As you converse, think of someone who has a common interest, such as children’s ages, similar life stage, employment, neighborhood, hobbies or background. Then make the introduction.
  7.  Say these words before the guest departs: “We want you here!”

I listened as two young couples bemoaned their search for a church home. Both had researched and visited multiple churches when they moved to a new city. They’d been welcomed, but not connected. One stated, “If just one person would invite us for coffee or show any true interest in us, we’d definitely join!” When we don’t bother to make true connections, we can exclude guests.

Jesus said, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” As God brings guests to your church, will you intentionally connect with them? Eternity will be impacted.