A simple “Hello” can possibly save a life
By GARY ANDREWS
I read recently that a man went to church on the morning he was going to commit suicide. He felt he owed God one more chance of telling him why life is worth living. This man made the choice of going to church and one of the members greeted him with a friendly hello and extended hand in fellowship.
Having a need to talk with someone this man talked about what he was going to do and the other person showed a great concern for what he had just been told. He introduced the troubled person to one of the pastors of the church which led to a long counseling session which turned into a lifesaving adventure.
Many churches today have times of fellowship, meet and greet others before their worship services begin. I have been to many churches where this is happening and it is one of the best parts of the service that gets people smiling, hugging, and in a receptive mood for God’s word from the pastor. Visitors feel welcome and more in tune to the church family they are visiting. Who knows, someone’s life may be changed from a friendly “Hello”.
Paul stated in many of his letters that believers should greet each other with a holy kiss. In this day and time a kiss probably wouldn’t go over well but a friendly hand shake and greeting will. Some of the best friends I have today started with a handshake and a friendly smile.
Moving every few years my wife and I would visit several churches to decide which one God would want us to serve in. God has always blessed us immensely and led us to a church that we could serve in. Many of our decisions have been based on the response of the congregation to our visit and the friendliness of the congregation toward each other. There have many times we have visited churches that were cold, no one spoke, no one seemed to care, and people went to church because they felt it was their duty to do so. Believe me, there is a big difference in these churches and the reception one receives is going to lead whether someone joins the fellowship or not. Everyone wants to be respected and received with warmth from the people.
We have found that you can only serve God in a church where He is head of that church instead of one that has put God on the curb and trying to survive on worldly values and standards.
There are going to be some that say it doesn’t matter to them whether a church is friendly or not just as long as God is head of the church and His word is being taught. This is true, however I feel that warm receptive feelings in a church are a tremendous plus to the churches that are serving God and teaching His word.
Friendliness in church depends on you and not the church leaders. It is your attitude toward others that could make a life changing experience in someone else life.
Prayer: Lord let me live my life in a way that is pleasing to you and not to the world. Allow me to be friendly and understanding to everyone I meet. Amen.
(Suggested daily Bible readings: Sunday – Philippians 4:4-5; Monday – Psalm 51:10-12; Tuesday –Luke 7:1-10; Wednesday - Ecclesiastes 11:7-10; Thursday – Colossians 4:5-6; Friday – 1 Kings 1:42; Saturday – Philemon 4-7.)
Gary Andrews is the author of Encouraging Words: 30-days in God’s Word. To obtain a copy go to his website www.gadevotionals.com.