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Learning from an Unfriendly Church

My chilly reception changed the way we look at visitors.

The couple came in after the worship service started. They seemed ill at ease, like they were not sure what to do next. The congregation was in the middle of a chorus that was printed inside the worship bulletin they had been given. I stepped back to where they stood and showed the man where we were in the chorus. After church, I discovered they were relatives of a grateful deacon who had invited them.

I remember what it was like as a college student dropping in on a new church—not knowing a soul and wondering whether I would fit in with this congregation. I am the product of a great church that opened its arms and loved me to Jesus.

When we pastored in the Carolinas, my wife and I loved to drive through the Smokies above Asheville on our day off. Once, we spotted a quaint little church on a hillside and decided to check it out. We drove up and down the highway several times, but could never find a turn-off to the church. Eventually, we gave up and drove on.

A couple of miles up the ...

April
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