Barnabus was the greatest example in the New Testament of trying to make a guest feel welcome. He did not judge, he only loved. When Saul showed up and tried to participate in the local body of believers everyone ran in fear except Barnabus. Barnabus believed that God could change anyone through Jesus Christ and Saul was no different. Not only did he take him under his wing and help him gain the trust of other believers, he discipled him into a fully dedicated and equipped follower of Jesus Christ. They soon became partners and they changed the history of the world as they went and planted churches in strategic cities throughout the Roman Empire. I wonder what would have happened with Paul if he did find the open arms of a fellow believer in Christ?
One of the greatest responsibility of ministries we have as a church is to welcome those who come to Eastern Heights searching for the will of God. Whether a guest comes in search of a Savior or just in search of a loving body of Christ in which to participate in the Kingdom, we must be those who welcome them with open arms. It is the responsibility of every member of our church to help guests feel welcome. In many cases one negative exchange with a church member can alter the journey of faith in that guest.
Sunday we had a guest come in and found the open arms of a church member who had a Barnabus spirit. He showed him around and introduced him to me and many church members. He walked with him into the sanctuary and even sat with him through worship. This guest could not wait to see me after church and inform me that he would be back with his family. I believe that his positive experience Sunday morning was because one member went out of his way to make him feel welcome. What can you do this Sunday to help our guests feel welcome?