The sentiment included is well known but bears repeating. In my travels over the last few months, I have visited a few churches in different countries and can again reiterate that hospitality and welcoming the strange visitors is the greatest evangelism asset that a congregation can possess. The size of the congregation, the clergy, the choir, the worship experiences all pale in comparison to the simple act of welcoming and providing hospitality to someone as they enter your church. The experiences varied across the churches. Some greeted with smiles and handshakes while others did not acknowledge until introduced by the clergy. Some did not offer a glass of water, while others provided food in abundance from the little they had.
Church leaders who oversee church money have a fiduciary responsibility. The money is not their own – it belongs to the church – so there are certain standards to follow. That is, you can be as carefree as you want with your own money, but not with someone else’s money!
Like most people, I have some bad habits. Some of them are lifestyle related, but many of them are more behavioral in nature – how I react to stress, anger, conflict, hurt, and even disagreement. In these situations, my tendency is to either lash out aggressively or totally withdraw within, even with those I love the most. As I get older, I have been better able to control these impulses, or at least realize when they’re happening, but they are still there under the surface. I have also come to appreciate that these tendencies not only interfere with my interpersonal relationships, but, more importantly, impede my ability to be my true self as God intends me to be. In other words, I often pursue death-like approaches instead of seeking life-giving alternatives.