SHOW YOURSELF FRIENDLY

Intro.

1.    Churches develop reputations based upon their actions (Rev. 2-3: "I know your works...." - cf. 3:1).

2.    It is good & right for churches to examine & evaluate themselves so that they can rise to their greatest potential -           cf. 1 Ths. 4:9-10.

3.    Evaluate: How we greet each other & our visitors at worship services.

4.    Are we missing opportunities to encourage & save because we are not very friendly to visitors & newcomers?

5.    What can I do to help this church properly receive its visitors as well as each other?

 

I.    "LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF" - Matt. 22:39.

    A.    We Must Not Show Partiality When We Assemble - Jas. 2:1-10.

        1.    Principle applies: Family, close friends, etc. - Do we only speak with the same people at services while                  ignoring others? - cf. Matt. 5:46-48

    B.    We Must Be Kind & Hospitable To All - 1 Pet. 4:8-9.

        1.     In greeting our brethren - cf. 1 Pet. 5:14; 1 Cor. 16:20 (Acts 2:44, 46).

        2.     In greeting visitors - Heb. 13:1-2; Jas. 2:4. (Lev. 19:34; Deut. 10:19).

 

II.    THE WISDOM OF FRIENDLINESS TOWARD OUR VISITORS.

    A.    It Helps To Establish Contact With The Lost - Matt. 9:10-13.

        1.     cf. The effort of the visitor to come to our services.

        2.     How do we receive them when they arrive?!

    B.    We Should Seize Our Opportunity To Help/Serve Them - Col. 4:5-6.

        1.     Jno. 4:35 (30) - When visitors show interest, what message is conveyed to them when we show little/no interest                  in them?!!

        2.     cf. Acts 16:9-10 - Prompt response to cry for help.

        3.     Open ourselves to them Spiritual assistance, guidance, learning, help.  Matt. 9:37-38

    C.    Help The Visitor Want To Return.

        1.     Acts 2:46-47 - Unity & concern influenced the lost.

        2.     Eccl. 11:1 - Cast your bread on the water - It will return a blessing.

            a.     Help people be comfortable here - Hear the gospel.....

            b.     Coldness & disinterest will never help people be interested in us!

 

III.    THE FOLLY OF UNFRIENDLINESS.

    A.    We Become A Stumblingblock - Matt. 18:5-7, 10-14.

        1.     Lack of interest will turn away souls who need salvation!

        2.     Matt. 5:14-16 - Let your light shine - Don’t extinguish it w/ coldness!

    B.    We Miss Opportunities To Serve Others - cf. 1 Tim. 5:9-10 (Acts 20:35). Matt. 25:41-45 - Unfriendly to              others....to Christ!

    C.    We Won’t Have Many Friends - Prov. 18:24.

        1.     How we treat people at our services reflects on how we generally treat people everywhere else!

        2.     Matt. 5:47 - Not being like God - Like the ungodly!

        3.    But.....

            a.     "I’m too shy." That can be overcome. (Take along someone you are comfortable with, then go meet a                      stranger!)

            b.     "Others will greet people." What about you? (Gal. 6:5)

            c.     "I don’t know what to say." (Genuine expressions of interest.)

            d.     "I don’t need to do that." (Jas. 4:17)

        4.     We must stretch ourselves!

 

Conclusion

1.    How are we treating people at our services: Distant, disinterested......or with care, concern and genuine interest & encouragement?!

2.    Matt. 7:12; 22:39 - Golden rule....love our neighbor as ourselves.

3.    Let it never be said that this church is not friendly!!