This morning was my first chance to volunteer with the FBC hospitality ministry.
For those of you who aren't familiar with the situation I know what you're thinking -- I've been living here for a year and only NOW gotten involved? Am I still the Amy you knew and loved?!?
Believe me, folks, it was not for lack of trying. And we are working with the church to make it easier, faster, and, frankly, not scary to get connected with this church. The congregation is good at a great list of things -- teaching, fellowshiping and keeping attendees once they get plugged in. It is very, very bad at the plugging. We are trying to help them found a military ministry with the idea that the things we establish there will be taken up by other ministries.
Meanwhile, the once a year sign up to help happened a few weeks ago (that's right -- once a year. This is what I'm talking about) and so I signed up. We are doing hospitality for the month of February, greeting and hanging out bulletins like I used to do at NCC.
It was so good to be doing that again ... to be the first person to greet people when they come through the door, give them a smile and show them that their presence matters.
I really felt like everything clicked again when a woman walked in the door and said "I'm new here...." I helped her find where her kids should go, I connected her with someone else who could help, I found her in the sanctuary to give her some printed information on our different ministries, and when I came up to her and said her name she said "you remembered my name!" as if this was a shock.
Why should that be a shock? She's been church shopping, apparently, after living in the area for quite some time ... was I really the only person to meet her at church and remember her name? Was I the only one at any church to find her after the service and ask if we'd be seeing her again?
It breaks my heart that people -- whether they be Christians are simply curious about this whole Jesus thing -- can walk into a church and not be cared about by the very people who are supposed to be the most caring in the world in the place they call "home." It breaks my heart that I let that happen by not being more proactive, more intentional about reaching out.