Recently Jenny and I had a group of people over for dinner. As we began to prepare for our company, we started looking at the condition of our house. We were surprised by how much we needed to clean up and rearrange so that when people came, we could feel comfortable hosting them and they would feel at home. I know that many of you can relate to this experience. It causes us to ask the question, “How important is hospitality?” It certainly requires time and energy from those doing the hosting.
In I Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:8 we are told that elders must be hospitable. Why is it so important that elders be hospitable? Elders set the ethos of the church. If the leadership at the top isn’t hospitable more than likely the whole church won’t be hospitable. We serve and represent a hospitable God. Look at what He has done for man in creation.
A key component of hospitality is empathizing with others. Empathy involves viewing the world from another’s perspective. Romans 12:5 tells us to “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” This is a call to empathize with others. As you read this newsletter, you will see that we are tweaking things throughout the church to be more hospitable. We’re trying to put ourselves in the shoes of the outsider. How does an outsider perceive the church grounds? How do they feel when they enter the building? The sanctuary? These are some of the questions we are asking and seeking to answer as we attempt to be more hospitable as a church. May God continue to bless Evangel as we seek to be more like Him.
This month, we will highlight a few simple changes that are taking place here at Evangel and bring context for these changes that you may be noticing.
Here at Evangel, our mission statement is “Equipping Believers to live for Jesus Christ and to share His Gospel with the lost.” We believe that all of these changes are helping us to fulfill our mission statement, and in particular, as Pastor Tim writes above, create an ethos of hospitality in all that we do.
In this issue we have several different articles that all explain another aspect of hospitality at Evangel: our reworked logo (“Communicating the Mission”), our new ushering procedures (“Ushering in the New”), our new changes to our approach of music in our worship service (“Worshiping with Music”), how landscape and other facility maintenance tasks provide hospitality (“Keeping the Grounds”), the new library app (“Learning in the Library”), and the new interior signs which are coming soon (“Showing the Way”). And don’t miss “Studying the Word-Fellowshipping Together” for details on FLOCKS small groups and men’s and women’s Bible studies.