To Impress: To apply a mark on something with a stamp or a seal. To fix an idea in somebody’s mind.
You leave an impression everywhere you go. Good or bad, your presence leaves a lingering aroma in the room, at the front desk, with the server, by the way. Like it or not, this affects the way people think of Jesus, your Savior. To be sure, they might not know you are a Christian now. But, one day, they might find out. And when they do, they’ll connect you with Him. They’ll be impressed!
The same is true for the church you attend. A Church is known by its members. Our lives are the front page of Christ Covenant’s website to the world. This principle was driven home to me recently by Charles. Charles was hands down the most cheerful, helpful and professional staff member at the Club, where Eric and I work out. But He is also a member of Mercy Hill Church and has just recently moved to Florida to help plant a new church. I learnt this latter piece long after I’d learnt the former. It impressed me. Now I never think of Mercy Hill without also thinking of Charles. It’s the kind of Church he went to!
Let’s particularly remember this on Sunday mornings when we gather for worship. If you see someone new, walk up to them, smile and greet them warmly, “Hello, my name is ________, I’m not sure we’ve met before? Is this your first time here?” If they have children, ask them, “Can I help you find their Sunday school rooms or the nursery.” (NB. We don’t have Sunday school over the summer!). This is especially important if you are serving in the nursery. Make it your goal to create a calm, warm, welcoming environment. Be sure to introduce yourself to our guests and their children. Maybe you are there early, and the assigned nursery volunteers have not arrived yet, take charge and tell the guests: “I’m looking after the nursery today until Michael and Sally arrive. They’ll be here in a few minutes.” I was so impressed this Sunday to hear how one of our ladies took this kind of initiative when she saw a visiting mother anxiously taking her children to children’s church. As she passed her in the aisle, she said, “Excuse me, are you going to children’s church? Can I help you find the room?” Of course, the visitor was overwhelmed with gratitude. Then on the way, she said, “Rachel Van Eerden is leading children’s church today. She is one of our elder’s wives and is just wonderful with children. She has 11 of her own, you know!” These kinds of interactions leave a deep impression on visitors. They communicate: I’m welcome here, this is a safe place, people care at this church, and most importantly of all, I’m not an outsider.
None of us do this by nature? When we arrive in the foyer we are often most concerned to find “our peeps,” the people we want to connect with. When people walk past us in the service, we tend to think, “Focus, I must focus on God and not let that new person who obviously doesn’t know where they are going distract me.” When they come into the nursery, our natural bent is to think, “I wish I wasn’t in here. I would much rather be in the service involved in real worship? But it’s my duty, so I suppose I’ll just grin and bear it, etc.” Such thoughts tend to sap the depth of our smile and the warmth of our greeting. The observant visitor will pick up on this and they’ll be impressed.
So let’s set our hearts and our minds on our Savior this Lord’s Day. The one whose open arms welcome us into the Father’s house, who carries all our burdens, who heals all our diseases, and who forgives all our transgressions. Let’s know Him and make Him known. Let’s impress Greensboro for Jesus.