February 16, 2014 by Chris French
Can I ask you to give up three of your minutes today?
Have you ever visited another church? Maybe you were on vacation or you had just moved, but do you remember how awkward it was? Now you’ve found your spot at Northport with us, but if you look around today you’ll probably see someone that is visiting with us. They are uncomfortable. They don’t know where the bathrooms are, where their kid’s classes are and they may not know anyone else in the building. My challenge to you today is to make them feel comfortable.
That’s probably going to mean that you stretch your own comfort zone. You’ve finally found a spot where you feel comfortable and a group of people that you can hold a conversation with, but that person or family is on the outside. Bring them in. Go out of your way to find them, and get to know them. This is going to mean that you’re going to have to not talk to your normal group of friends. We’ve all got them. After the final amen is said you turn to these people and start talking. You do it every Sunday. You’re friends and that’s a GOOD thing! But tomorrow don’t go immediately to those people. It’s going to be hard because I’m betting you sit pretty close together. As soon as the last amen is said tomorrow break from your regular group and for three minutes look for someone you don’t know. These three minutes are crucial! Remember the last time you visited a new congregation? How long did you stay after the final prayer? Usually it’s not long, in fact on average, it’s around 3 minutes. So keep your eye out before and during services for people you don’t recognize. After services, or in between if you see them, make them feel at home. Find common ground with them. Maybe you’ve got similar interests. Maybe you know some of the same people. Maybe you’ve done some of the same things. Make them laugh. Tell them about yourself. Invite them to eat lunch with you and your friends. For three minutes look for people you don’t know. If you find someone get to know them and let them get to know you.
We talk all the time about evangelizing. We talk about how white the harvest is, and it’s true. There are more people seeking God now than possibly ever before. Make no mistake about it though some of those people are coming to us! They’re sitting in the pew right next to you! Take three minutes and give them a good impression of Northport.