Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Church Should Be a Glimpse of Heaven


Pinch me! Was I just served shrimp while flying economy class on Lufthansa Airlines to Bosnia? Yes, it is shrimp. Jumbo shrimp! Did three flight attendants dote on me for the seven-hour plane ride? "Anything you want?" "You need anything? I will get it for you."

This is like Heaven! At first I thought so, but then realized no one will need to ask me what I want in Heaven--I'll already have it!

"These people are well trained," I whispered to Dan. "I want to fly Lufthansa again."

Are the airlines doing a better job than our churches in making people feel loved? That's a sad thought. Perhaps Christians would benefit from the training Lufthansa Airlines offers its employees. I don't think so. What Christians need is to put into practice the training they already have through the Holy Spirit.

We have the Ultimate Instructor when the Holy Spirit controls our lives. Then, we see people the way Jesus sees them. We love them, as Jesus loves them. We discern needs and ask the right questions and see that the strangers entering our churches are comfortable, accepted, loved, and tended to.

Landing in Germany, we were greeted by a large sign reading "MUNICH LOVES YOU!" Munich doesn't love me, but Jesus does. People should sense "JESUS LOVES YOU!" when they enter our church halls. Let's care for the strangers walking through our church doors. Greet them. Ask if they need anything. Direct them to restrooms, or the nursery, or a Sunday School class. Make them feel comfortable, loved, and cared about and they might decide your church is a little like Heaven and they want to fly with you every Sunday.

I'd benefit from further comments on this topic. Let's learn from each other how we can minister to those who seek Him.

May we be a Splash of Serenity to a world that thirsts for the love only Jesus offers.

Blessings on your day!

Elaine

4 comments:

Jeanette Levellie said...

I so agree with you, Elaine. We need "Welcome Training" in our churches. We tend to gravitate toward our friends rather than strangers. Yet, they need our love and attention the most.

I like to stand and chat with newcomers--ask them where they are from, what kind of jobs they do, and make sure I get their names right. Even if I have to repeat, "Elaine, Elaine, Elaine..." to the point of silliness, they know I care.

Elaine W. Miller said...

Thanks for the comment, Jeanette. I like that you repeat their name to the point of silliness. People like silly Pastor's Wives, don't you think?

Brenda K. Hendricks @myquotesofencouragement said...

Good point, Elaine. Why are strangers attending a new church? Some may have come from "out of town" with a friend or family member they are visiting. But others are seeking a church family, perhaps for the first time or because of a split in their former church. They want to feel welcome. And we should extend that encouraging hand.

But let's not forget those that have attended for months or even years who seem to have fallen between the pew cracks. They need love and warm smiles as well as the newcomer.

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda

Elaine W. Miller said...

You are so right, Brenda. Many come to church hurting and need care. I like to encourage those who are falling between the pew cracks to come with me and meet some new people. Of course, not every one enjoys being social.

In a future post I'll write about my church pet peeves. Like, bringing a "to do" list to church. Some of us are so busy doing church business Sunday morning that we forget why we're there--to worship the King.

Thanks for your comment. We really must reach out to those who hurt and are too quiet to tell us. Hugs.

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