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Sunday, August 24, 2003

Hospitality and the Church-I always get a chuckle out of churches that have a "Vistors Welcome" sign on their billboard; the Lutheran church on Cypress Gardens Road near our apartment has one. Do you ever see a "If we get any more people, we'll have to go to two sevices, so GO AWAY!!" sign? However, once we get those people into the seats, do we make sure that they are welcomed and made part of the community. The topic came to my mind Friday night when I saw this T-shirt on a guy to my left at Woody's BBQ. Not that I'm supporting the consumption of hard liquor, but the secular world seems to have a better handle on fellowship and hospitality than the church does. At most churches, the slogan would be "Tresspassers will be offered a visitors packet and a name-tag." People are looking for some place to have a sence of community, like the old Cheers theme "Where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came." If they don't get it from a church, they'll get it from a watering hole like the Parrothead at Woody's. Do we make sure the person understands what's going on, is led to Sunday School classes for them and their kids, is made to feel at home by someone chatting with them, and is contacted during the week to see what they thought and how the church can do for them. Actually doing something to make a visitor feel at home means more than a "Visitors Welcome" sign in the front.

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