Hospitality. That is a loaded word. What does it mean to show hospitality to people who come to your home? How do you make them feel welcome? Do you turn the front porch light on? Do you put out the best towels in the bathroom? Do you pull out the fine china? How do we offer hospitality at HUMC? Do we offer the very best to those who come in our doors?
We are asking these questions lately as more and more new faces come to worship at Huntersville UMC. Welcoming them in the name of Christ is our calling, but how are we doing that effectively? You may have noticed some changes recently, from visitor parking, a redesigned bulletin to a “Get Connected” booth at the back of the worship center. These changes and updates are all to help that first time guest feel at home here in our house of worship. These are positive moves in the right direction for all of us!
The hard part of all of this is to create that atmosphere of hospitality with ALL of our members so that it becomes a natural and automatic thing for each and every one of us to see someone and ask with a smile, “Hi, is this your first time at HUMC?” Or to simply walk up to someone, shake their hand and say, “Good morning! I’m glad you’re here!” These can be intimidating things, but very necessary if we are to truly reach others for Chirst.
I’ve appreciated the emphasis that Rick Warren puts on hospitality in his “40 Days of Community” series. It has empowered me and others, I think, to make this a priority moving forward. Our challenge now is ot make sure we keep doing it and never lose sight of why we are doing it!