Publications in 'The Messenger', June - July 2018

Published in 'The Messenger', June - July 2018 issue. 

 page number  37.

 

 

 

Do you come here often?

Wiktionary: common phrase for initiating conversation with a stranger, especially one for seeking romantic involvement. This phrase came to my mind shortly after experiencing an encounter of an entirely different kind, which I shall now share with you.

The venue was a Christian place of Worship; its location, right here in Melksham. The encounter took place after a Sunday morning service this April.

A member of the leadership team approached me, and these were his opening words: “Will you be coming here regularly?” I was taken aback, in much the same way as someone who - in a rather different environment, of course - had just been asked “do you come here often?” Whilst I knew what I wanted to say in response to him, my words would not have brought glory to God!

My stunned silence prompted the gentleman to enquire for a second time “Will you be coming here regularly, or are you a visitor?” I explained that I was a visitor, and long standing friend of a couple who had invited me to the service.  With that he responded “okay” and walked off.  These were the only words he spoke.  He did not introduce himself or ask what my name was. 

I trust that you have never experienced a 'greeting' or 'welcome' of this nature when either visiting a church for the first time, or for the first time after a long absence. I will not become a 'pew filler'!

To Christian leaders reading this: I trust those who visit your place of Worship are given a genuine warm welcome - which may encourage them to return.

Ed Saunders

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I Hope This is not our church, If it was,  we should change they way we approach  Vistors to our church  and give a warmer  welcome and greeting, and  not the way this person was  approached.

 

The editor