by Stephen Castleberry
Think with me for just a second—who’s a person you really look forward to being around. Not in a lovestruck sense, but in a that-person-just-seems-to-light-up-the-room sense.
Do you have them pictured? Good!
No matter who you are thinking about, I bet I can tell you what their mouth is doing…
Encountering someone with a big, genuine grin on their face is almost irresistible. Happiness is contagious!
What does this mean for us?
You can bet that most people who walk through the doors of Antioch this weekend have had a tough week. Bosses demanded too much. Kids were needy. Something broke at the house. Someone is sick. Their wife made the family late. Their husband was obnoxiously honking the horn in the driveway to get them to hurry up. You get the picture.
People are bringing a heavy load each Sunday morning.
But do you know what begins to lighten their burden? A warm smile.
What begins to break down defensive walls? A sincere “It’s good to see you.”
What prepares people to hear from a God that loves them? Hearing from some of God’s people who love them.
You’re not just helping people open doors or find bathrooms—you’re setting people up for a life-changing encounter with God because before they ever sit down on one of our benches, they’ve pretty much decided what they are going to get out of today.
So let’s give it everything. Let’s smile big, hug warmly, and say people’s names. Because when people know we welcome them, they’ll begin to believe that God welcomes them too.