Most of us are guilty of greeting someone with the standard greeting of “Hello”. In fact, that’s what we do at work and even out and about in public areas. Hello is a common greeting and maybe it’s all too common. Many will agree, we are living in some stressful times. More and more people are facing the challenges of life, alone. Having no one to turn to and simply listen, they grow discouraged.
I remember when the church was called a place or refuge and it was the place where you could go to and find compassion and spiritual guidance. While it is yet true, you can go to many churches and find someone who will take the time out and minister to you, many are asking where the church is when you need them. Remember the days when missionaries from the local church would visit? I can recall a couple of years ago; I was amazed to see a roadside prayer booth setup by a local church. While driving along a busy road, you could pull over into the churches parking lot and simple have a word of prayer with someone from the church.
When someone visits your church, remember, sincerity is something that a person can feel and recognize. You will have visitors who will be relieved they made it to the worship service after months and maybe years of struggling with the decision to return to a place of worship.
Blurting out insincere greetings can be a turn off church for a new visitor who is in need of salvation, but poorly trained greeters and ushers are posted only because they want to usher and not serve. Ministry is all about service others, the first representative of the church that a visitor will see, is the usher.
When the church service is over, think about the next time you greet someone and you include with your greeting, “How Are You?” Are you truly ready for their reply? Can you handle it, if the person responds with a “not too good?” While many of us are preoccupied with our personal issues, ministry ends when we stop breathing. Even Jesus Christ took the time from His pain and suffering, to grant a thief entrance into paradise, because of his faith. I guess the reason; many people when in passing in close proximity of one another, will look the other way, avoid eye contact and dump the casual greetings because they don’t want to hear the reply.
Smiling in contagious and the world could use another person who is not afraid to take the time from their difficult day, to bring a kind word and encouragement to someone else. Don’t let kindness and sincerity be a seasonal greeting.