From a pastor friend of mine:
“Two Amazing stories from church today…card from one Campus said, “the guy I used to buy drugs from came to church and got saved today.”
Report from another campus “I was on my way to buy heroin to kill myself tonight b/c I had no hope…saw the church…came in…gave my life to Jesus…found hope.”
I love the KING and HIS Kingdom!!!! Thank you church for being the church that helps people find hope in Christ.”
My pastor friend bragged on his church. A good form of bragging.
I was excited for him.
Stories of life transformation is part of what propels me to help churches with their evangelism and hospitality.
Are you seeing life change?
Hearing conversion stories is exciting.
Being involved in a local church body where people are finding Jesus, experiencing redemption from their past, finding hope where they had none is a dream for me. I want to be part of a church that is helping people find Jesus.
The power of the gospel in action is exciting.
Newcomers come to church where they can encounter hope as they learn about what it means to follow Jesus.
Transfers from other churches will stay in churches where the gospel is transforming lives.
Keep inviting your unsaved friends to church. Help them to belong while they are searching and see how Jesus can change their life.
Your hospitality will play a role in people inviting friends to church.
Your hospitality will play a role in helping people come back to hear more of the gospel.
Don’t lose that vision
Over the years, I’ve talked with several churches that have lost this vision. Their vision is survival, budget maintenance, or keeping the sheep well fed. For them, it’s all about discipleship. I don’t sense any excitement about the gospel’s power of redemption.
I have asked: “What would it take to see 10 adult baptisms this year?”
In those churches, I’ve seen sighs of hopelessness, objections, and even instant pessimism that it’s not possible. They have lost the vision to reach people for Christ.
There is no excitement about what Jesus can do.
I wouldn’t want to stay involved in such a church. Even if I came for a few weeks because the people were nice, I don’t think I’d stay long term if the church doesn’t have a compelling vision to reach the lost.
Hospitality is not the end.
I encounter many churches that believe hospitality ministry will fix their attendance problems.
That may be true short term, and I encourage churches to improve and fix their hospitality ministry.
Improving your welcome can help you increase the number of visitors who return to your church.
But hospitality is not the end.
- If there is no manifestation of gospel power over the course of time, many people will move on.
- If there is no excitement about people coming to know the Lord, some will move on.
- If there is no offer of the gospel, those searching for hope may drop out or go somewhere else.
My pastor friend wrote:
Having a nice auditorium or cafe is great and people appreciate it, but it will never do what only the gospel with do.
Without having a culture of grace, the congregation often doesn’t feel free to invite people who need that grace.
So in turn they only invite other Christians and don’t have the opportunity for people to respond to the message.
We have worked hard on creating a culture of Belong, Believe, Behave.
Our first objective is to get people to feel like they belong regardless of their past or present situations. Like Thomas, this gives Jesus the opportunity to show up to people.
A good welcome helps people come back.
But what my pastor friend is doing is helping people find faith in Jesus Christ.
That’s what I can be excited about.
Do you want to ramp up your hospitality?
I’ve taken several of the top articles on EvangelismCoach and turned them into a downloadable ebook that you can purchase, rather than spend hours digging through the over 1000 pages on this website.
It’s a shortcut to practical action steps.
If you are leading a hospitality committee looking at these issues, buy your copy of How to Welcome Church Visitors and get a head start.
Your first heading says it all. So often we get caught up in a “keep them happy” frame of reference, that does not extend the kingdom one bit.
We have found that testimonies of life change have a powerful impact on setting expectations of church members. So many of them have no contemporary experience of lives being changed, such that they have lost hope. Testimonies of the redemptive freeing power of Jesus shakes people out of spiritual lethargy and provokes faith. 🙂 I love this particular one below because it seems so fresh!
I love hearing stories of life change – even changes that some might consider minor. We don’t always need a dramatic change, but a visible one that has been done at the Lord’s hand.
This week, we’ll be ministering in Nicaragua, and expecting God to work tremendous changes in the lives of current ministry leaders who need to experience afresh the power of forgiveness, as well as liberation from the effects of the sins of others.