You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
One of the greatest desires of a Christian is to obey the commandments of Christ. Christ commands you to love your neighbor as yourself. You might be asking, “Who is my neighbor?”
Well, one of your neighbors is a visitor at church. Chances are, you like having visitors in church, and want them to stay! Chances are, you want to be welcoming to guests, but it isn’t always easy to figure out how.
So, here are three ways to love your neighbor (visitor) as yourself:
1. Remember visitors are different from you.
Not everyone is just like you. And that’s a good thing. If love is not directed toward people who are different from us, then it’s just self-love! So love visitors, even when they are completely different from you.
2. Remember visitors may seem strange, but you’re stranger.
Sometimes visitors are very quiet. Introverted. Not eager to get to know anyone or get involved with anything. They get branded as being strange. But you would be too. Imagine yourself in a completely new place. It’s big. It’s different. Everyone else seems to fit in somewhere already, but not you. It’s tough being new somewhere. So love visitors by imagining yourself in their position.
3. Remember visitors like nice people, but they want friends.
Being friendly with visitors will only go so far. Anyone can be friendly. People working at the store are paid to be friendly. What visitors are looking for, whether they know it or not, is not for people to be friendly to them, but people who will be friends with them. Instead of letting them know where the Sunday School classes are, take them to yours. Instead of talking about favorite restaurants, take them to one. Sit with them. Help them out however you can. Let them in on ‘inside’ information that is just assumed knowledge in your local church body. They don’t know how things work there. They are just visiting. Love visitors by becoming their friends. (I’m fairly confident I stole this last point from somewhere, but I don’t know where!)