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INDIANAPOLIS (BP)--He cleans the church's carpet regularly, but he's never been invited to worship there. She delivers the church mail daily, but she doesn't know Jesus. The family spent hours there during Aunt Tip's funeral, but none of them go to church.
Yes, guests attend your church for worship services, but additional dozens -- even hundreds -- walk in on weekdays each year. They come in for directions, weddings, benevolence or after-game fellowships. They attend scouts, daycare, support groups. There's the exterminator, repairman, roofer, delivery person ... and God brings them inside your building. Will they meet Jesus there?
Intentionally impact each person who walks in your church doors.
-- Let your walls talk. Stroll through your church entryways and offices, carefully observing as if it's your first time there. What can a stranger learn about your church and God? Attractively display current newsletters, brochures, witnessing tracts and invitations for visitors to take. Replace negative or outdated signage. Carefully read each poster to assure outsiders can understand it. Play Christian music. Use art to point to the One you worship.
-- Salute! Warmly welcome each person who walks in the door. Learn their names. If they need directions, mark a map. When offering benevolence, give it joyfully. Give the postal carrier an icy soda on a hot day. Invite every individual to come for Sunday worship. Promise to pray for them. Use small gift bags to prepare welcome packets with a church brochure, newsletter, CD, upcoming events and a few candies. Then watch for opportunities to share them.
-- Assign timely ambassadors. Friendly church members can assist with expected guests, such as weddings or community meetings. They can set a positive atmosphere, help with directions or needs, and show God's love. Serve lunch to construction workers. If the town festival is outside the church doors, serve cold lemonade and welcome people to use restroom facilities.
The church's purpose is to share God with the lost world. Seize the opportunity to impact those who come into your building. If a toilet overflows in your church next Monday, will the plumber receive more than just a check for his services?
"Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders, making the most of every opportunity" (Colossians 4:5).
Diana Davis is the author of "Fresh Ideas," "Fresh Ideas for Women's Ministry" and "Deacon Wives" (B&H Publishing) and the wife of the Indiana Baptist State Convention executive director. Learn more at www.keeponshining.com.