I don’t usually listen in on other people’s phone conversations, but today I couldn’t help but overhear my coworker laughing, and chatting up the person on the other end of the line who had just called into our office. She’s like that. One of those people that treats you like you matter regardless of how busy she is. She remembers details and things like a person’s birthday or when their kids are sick. And, as I’m listening, I’m thinking that person on the other end is grateful because who doesn’t like to be valued like that?
I remembered one of my favorite moments this year at the Global Leadership Summit happened in session #5 with John Maxwell. He just up and said:
“Are you adding value to people or are you wanting people to add value to you?”
The room was quiet because he had obviously struck a nerve with several people. When we look at that through the lens of how we go about making guests feel welcome in our church, we have to ask ourselves, “Is our primary motive in creating a welcoming process to add value to our church or to add value to the other person?” Wanting to help someone who doesn’t have a church home find one isn’t a bad thing and wanting our church to grow in the process isn’t a bad thing either. The problem lies in that being our primary motivation.
We may put a lot of effort into welcoming someone into our church this Christmas and they may never come back.
What we hope though is that they leave feeling better than when they came and that because of that experience it stirs in them a desire to explore a relationship with Christ.
As Christmas weekend approaches and your church prepares to have more services, more people, more kids, more everything, there are plenty of things you can do to make people feel welcome. For some of those practical ideas you can go here.
But if you’re going to get one thing right this weekend, let it be how you add value to the people that walk through your doors. Take time to talk with people even when you’re busy. Train your volunteers to go above and beyond. In fact, if your welcome process doesn’t include margin for connecting with people then it’s not really a welcoming process; it’s just a process.
At the end of the day…when the lights go down and the doors close…ask yourself,
“Did I add value to someone’s life today?”
Maxwell goes on to say,
“Everything worthwhile is uphill. Everything.”
This weekend, wherever you are, ask God to reveal to you where he wants you to do this. It could be the person sitting in your pew by themselves or the person you’re thinking about inviting to church this weekend.
Make someone feel significant this Christmas, because as Maxwell says,
“Significance is not about me, it’s about others. Significance is all uphill, but there is a downhill habit that fights against significance and that is selfishness.”
If you’re still looking for a way to add value during this season, start with adding it to someone else’s life first. Because adding value to a person is an uphill habit, but the side effects are worth it.