“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” Genesis 12:2-3
What sort of place did God envision for His people?
When God extended His call to Abraham He provided a window into His dream for the Promised Land. He wanted it to be a place where it was easy to believe, easy to belong and easy to bless
I believe a healthy church should aspire to develop those same three qualities. I want these things to be true of FredWes.
In my last post I dealt with the importance of being correct in what you believe, convinced about what you believe and able to clearly communicate what you believe.
This morning I want to talk about the importance of being a place where it is easy to belong.
God created you with a strong need to belong and then He put you into a family where you would be accepted, loved, nurtured, developed and shaped. Everyone needs a place to call home. People who are deprived of a family or a home suffer deeply.
More importantly, God created you with a fundamental spiritual and emotional need to belong to Him!
No wonder the Church occupies such a significant role in human culture! The church is the place where you can belong to a loving and accepting group of people AND also be shown the way to belong to God!
This week I came across a recent survey that discovered nine reasons why visitors came back to a church after their initial visit. Or, we could also say they are nine things that made people feel like they belonged at a church.
How can FredWes make it easy for people to belong?
Here is the list based on their responses to why they made a return visit to a church:
1) “Someone had an umbrella waiting for me in inclement weather.”
2) “A member actually invited me to lunch.”
3) “The kids area had leaders who were friendly and helpful.”
4) “There was a time of meaningful prayer.”
5) “Someone walked us where we were supposed to go.”
6) “There was genuine friendliness outside of the stand and greet time.”
7) “People followed up with my prayer requests the next day.”
8) “I loved having the opportunity to speak with the pastor.”
9) “I received a gift at the end of the service.” Their favorite gifts are freshly baked cookies or freshly baked bread.
Keep in mind, those who responded to our survey noted only one of these nine surprises that caused them to return. They considered any of these efforts above and beyond what they expected.
FredWes needs to be a place where it is easy to believe in God and FredWes needs to be a place where it is easy to belong.
As a member of FredWes, what are you correct and convinced in what you believe? Are you able to clearly communicate it?
As a member at FredWes what are you doing to help visitors and newcomers feel like they belong?