Just recently I had to make a quick stop at Kroger to pick up a few items. As I was walking through the store, there stood a young lady who looked very familiar. I thought nothing of it until she happened into the same aisle I was in. So I asked if I knew her from somewhere. She mentioned that we had talked before at Living Word one Sunday morning. I asked her how she was doing. She explained that she came to Living Word twice. Both times, she didn't feel welcomed at all. The people sitting next to her didn't talk with her, even during sharing the peace. She didn't attend communion because she just didn't feel like she was part of this church family. When the service was over, she told me that not one person ever said anything to her, except myself on her first visit. She mentioned that I was busy on her second visit. But she didn't feel welcomed by people. I apologized for this and invited her back. She hasn't come back yet.
We all have our friends in our church. We feel comfortable talking with them and at times, seek them out to visit with. Our ministry is also in this building. We tend to talk about sharing the Word with those out in the community, but what about in our own building. We need to step outside of our normal group and welcome those around. We need to share the love and peace of God with those who step into our building to worship. We say that everyone is welcome, so we, as a church, need to practice this. We have been having many visitors in the past months. It is a blessing to have them worship with us. We should thank them and welcome them. The church isn't just our members, the church is everyone. Each person should feel a part of the family of God.