Every week we attend one of our campuses and come in contact with so many people, but the question remains: do you take the time to say hello or welcome them? Research tells us that people need positive connections with each other regularly. “Social science identifies various categories of friendship and affirms that even our casual relationships play an important role in our well-being. These weak ties, middle-ring relationships, or lighter relationships contribute to our sense of belonging, strengthen our communities, and increase our psychological happiness. These categories also describe many of our regular interactions, including some of our friendships in the church.” (Hill, 2021)
Now it is true that some people are unapproachable and even not nice at times, but they are the exception. Most people who make an effort to attend a worship service have a desire to connect to God and his people. I read an article from 2015 that shared the power of saying hello to someone who was hurting as they entered their local church. The kindness of a stranger saved their life. My point in sharing this article is to say that we don't know what people are going through during the week, and you might be the first smiling face they see. It could be the one thing that encourages and lifts their spirits. So I want to challenge you to engage on Sunday morning and say hello to people you see, especially if they are strangers. It only takes a second to smile and greet someone. If we all do our part, I know people will feel welcome and know they belong here at Gateway. Who knows; you might save a life.
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