In our church, we take a few minutes to greet one another between worship and the message. Most churches do. These few minutes are rich and should not be overlooked as something to get out of the way. On the contrary, they can can powerfully minister to visiting guests and regular attendees alike.
Why Do You Go To Church?
Assuming that you are a servant whose heart is set on advancing the Kingdom, when attending a service, one might think that is the time to sit back and relax, a time to soak in the fresh anointed word that the Pastor delivers. But servants don’t go to church to be served, they go to church to serve.
A Few Minutes Really Can Make a Difference
Servants are always alert and mindful of any opportunity that may arise. These few minutes to “Meet and Greet” that I have just alluded to are opportunities to engage the Body of Christ, a time to love on those that the Lord has brought into your fellowship, especially those visiting for the first, second or third time. Look forward with anticipation to greet your guests and those around you. For a newcomer, these can be very awkward moments. Not only do they not know anyone, but they don’t know what to do with themselves either. Remove the awkwardness and genuinely love on those around you by introducing yourself and welcoming them with a firm handshake. People love to be loved.
Praying for People Naturally Creates Intimacy
After having prayed for the Church Body throughout the week, (even for new guests that you have not yet met); when you greet them and love on them during those few minutes in a service each week, there is power that flows, ministry that the Holy Spirit works in and through. The more you pray for that individual, the more compassion and love you will have for that person. You will find that a genuine love will naturally exude from you toward that individual.
Keep in mind that this is a “Meet and Greet” moment, not a counseling session. It’s a time to introduce the love of the Father. It’s not fake, but genuine. It’s not done with a plastic smile, but rather with genuine care that has been bathed in prayer for the past week.
How to Pray for Your Guests
You ask, “How should I pray for guests during the week?” The thing to keep in mind is that God brought these guests into your fellowship. As good stewards, we need to bathe them in prayer. Ask the Lord to minister to their heart, and keep in mind that the Holy Spirit will do the ministering. Remember, your role is to love on people, it’s the Holy Spirit who ministers to their soul. When you love on people, it paves the way for the Holy Spirit to minister to their need where they are. Don’t make the mistake of playing the role of the Holy Spirit. That’s offends him is simply not your place.
When you pray for your guests and people within the church Body, have a listening ear. Listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying and be quick to respond to his voice. Be sure not to get that backwards. Our tendency is to speak first in the name of “listening” to see what God will do. No, first listen to the Holy Spirit, and when he tells you to speak, speak. Until he speaks, love on them.
One final note. Some may read this article and think to themselves, “Now that is a great strategy to get people to attend out church”. If that is you, you have missed the point entirely. The objective is not to get people to attend your church. Let me say that again, and this time, I’ll write it slowly. The objective is not to get people to attend your church. The one and only objective is to make disciples by loving with the love of the Father. That’s what Jesus did. Do not play “Holy Spirit”. Selflessly love with his focus in mind, pointing people to the Father. It is the Father that heals and restores. As a servant, your act of kindness bathed in love is like medicine in the hand of God.