by Martha Kajara, Hospitality Leader
Hi! My name is Martha, and I’m the Hospitality Leader at AGIF. So many people have told me how it must be so easy to do my job, I mean all I have to do is smile, and say “welcome to church.” Well, to some extent, they are right. That’s what we do. We welcome people to church, make sure they feel loved and give them a sense of belonging. A smile, a hug, a handshake, and perhaps even go an extra mile and ask them how their week was, offer them a cup of Hot Chocolate or Warm apple cider(Yum)!
But somehow, I still feel like we could do more. We could be warmer! We could smile more! I’ve often heard comments like, “I wish people at church could do more of this, or more of that. ” So I thought to myself. Who are the people at church? Is it us? The staff and the amazing volunteers? Is it the guards that we find there day in and day out?
Who is “the Church?” Where is “the Church?” What is “the Church?” It’s certainly not the building we go to gather and worship! Or not just the pastors and the Worship team, that feed us and help us grow spiritually.
No! We are the Church! Each one of us. Every person that enters through those beautiful doors and walks down that beautiful red carpet(literally). Ha! Yes! We are the Church. And if we are the Church, we are the Hospitality Team! Each one of us. You do not need a RED T-shirt that says “I can Help” to reach out to your neighbor in the pew and ask them how they are doing, how their week was, or even if there is something you could join them in prayer for!
No, I’m not trying to make my job easier or Not do my job, but we are the Church. Let’s be the Church! On some days, your simple “Hi “to a neighbor in the pew could be the only message and worship experience some people have.
When we walk on the streets, we are the Church! Yes, even on the subway during rush hour! Or in the traffic lane! To the kuaidi guy that delivers your package, be Hospitable! To the waiter that serves you in a restaurant, Be Hospitable! To the ayi who cleans your house and watches your kids, Be Hospitable! To the driver who takes you wherever, whenever, Be Hospitable! Let everyone in your neighborhood, at your job, at your shopping stop, know and learn true Hospitality from you! Only then will “the Church”grow. Wherever we are, we are the body of Christ! The Church! The hope of the World!
Let us be an Inviting Church! The focus is not on welcoming guests to Church, but going out and meeting them in the neighborhood. “The Church is the Church only when it exists for others.”
PS: I LOVE MY JOB! You’d love it too! Try it this week! SMILE, SHOW LOVE, BE LOVE! Be the Church! Yes, even to a “stranger.”