“I feel welcomed by warm smiles, hearty handshakes and hugs….”
Published on: 06-01-2020
Earlier this year we asked our followers on social media, “Do you attend a welcoming church? In what ways does your congregation make you feel welcome?”
We received responses from all over the world. Here is a sampling.—Editors.
The congregation gives me a warm welcome. It doesn’t allow me to be left behind. It treats me as a family member.—Sha Yan, Philippines.
The church I belong to goes beyond saying “Happy Sabbath” to more meaningful connections, such as asking about family members, daily life, or what went well or not during the week. I feel safe to share my failures, my pain, and my joys. We pray for one another and check in often for updates.—Esther, United States.
My church allows me to grow spiritually, relation- ally, and emotionally. I am not the same person I was when I first came to Younger Generation. I have learned that nothing I can do will make God love me any less. He will pull me through difficult situations, just as He did in the past. The love of God has redefined every part of my life.—Jennifer, Florida, United States.
My church has friendly greeters who welcome everyone. Some members offer hugs or handshakes. It feels that we’re all part of a big family.—Marcia, Ohio, United States.
We sing songs in the hymnal in three different languages to accommodate every dialect. Our small chapel is always full to capacity. There is nothing more I could ask God for than the joy and blessings I receive at Sony South Seventh-day Adventist Church.— Astrid, Migori, Kenya.
Our mission statement is: “Connecting With Jesus, Connecting With People, Connecting People With Jesus.” We are deliberate about focusing on members, but also intentional about greeting visitors and making sure they are not left to fend for themselves. We have multiple ministries that include a variety of interests, ages, members, and nonmembers.
Are we perfect? No. But together we are deepening our personal relationship with our Lord and learning to share the good news.—Michaelynn, Oregon, United States.
Every church I have been in has been friendly, greeting me warmly, asking me to take part in teaching or Sabbath School, even before I asked for a membership transfer.
My part is to help make our church warm and welcoming. My job is to greet people, to notice sadness, to try to heal broken hearts, to help with financial issues.
We should ease any burden we can. Everyone wants to belong, and we can all help people feel welcome.—Kay, United States.
I feel welcome (and proud) because of how guests and members are treated at my church. No distinction is made between race, age, edu- cation level, or economic status. No matter what car someone drives, or what education they have, this is where I feel truly at home.—Kathy, Maryland, United States.
I came from a dysfunctional family. When I was 5, my Adventist neighbors invited my brother and me to attend Vacation Bible School. We didn’t have nice clothes, but I’ll never forget how the teachers accepted us warmly and taught us a lot of songs, including the Pathfinder song (“Oh, we are the Pathfinders strong”). That made me feel dignified and important.—Nii Reh, Philippines.
The Virginia Beach Seventh-day Adventist Church is the most loving and friendly church I have ever known. We are constantly aware of improving the way we greet and make comfortable all new visitors and members, inviting them to fellowship lunches and upcoming events and giving them a welcome gift.—Carm, Virginia, United States.
I don’t want anyone to feel that I have it all together, that I always love my family, friends, and fellow church members as perfectly as God loves me.
Loving others as God does cannot be done alone or in the dark; it requires a community. It requires a place that welcomes you exactly how you are. In my early high school years I found Younger Generation to be a place that fostered the love of Jesus and welcomed me to do the same.—Roman, Florida, United States.
You can come to my church with your brokenness. Church members fast and pray for you, carry you in prayer. I love my church family. They are God’s hands and feet, making a difference in my life.—Theresa, South Africa.
I feel welcomed by warm smiles, hearty handshakes and hugs, and the feeling that I miss much when I am not worshipping with my church family.—Dale, Michigan, United States.