Is This A Friendly Church?

Neal Pollard

While we would be tempted to ask this of ourselves, that’s really not a very honest reflection or indication of a true answer.  But, thankfully, there are several whom we can ask.  Don’t miss the importance of their candor.  Their answers are really the only ones that matter.

  • Ask the parents of the crying baby.
  • Ask the visitor who is sitting alone.
  • Ask the new family who moved here from another city.
  • Ask the drop-in whose clothing, hygiene, and general manner of speaking and appearance seems of “lesser” quality.
  • Ask the person whose race and color differs from the majority.
  • Ask the out-of-town visitors whose vacation or work brought them to services.
  • Ask the people you see and cannot decide whether they are visitors or members.
  • Ask the Lord and His inspired writers (Js. 2:1ff; Acts 10:34-35; Prov. 14:31; 17:5; 19:17).

Even if we have the reputation of friendliness, let us never be satisfied that we are “friendly enough” and let us never rest on our laurels.  Our goal should be to surround every unfamiliar face with love and attention.  I would  far rather risk scaring someone off than failing to extend them the love of Christ!

6 thoughts on “Is This A Friendly Church?

    1. Hey James. The answer to your question is, “Absolutely.” If you mean by friendly endorsing or sanctioning, that is a different question. God has His people on this earth to minister to and help everyone from every walk of life. That does not ever mean approving what His Word, the Bible, does not approve. I cannot change His will to accommodate any practice or lifestyle that does not conform to what He says. But I can love and try to help even those that some would hesitate or refuse to love and help.
      While that may not be satisfactory to you, that’s what I would say. I truly hope you have a great day and that you will be encouraged to submit yourself to Christ. I will strive to do the same.

  1. This needs to be printed in every bulletin of every congregation that considers itself to be “friendly.” I’ve visited congregations where it was stated from the pulpit that “we are friendly church” and left without anyone speaking to me, almost no one making eye contact with me. Other congregations never mention the word, and every visitor is either taken to lunch or had a meal prepared for them. Saying and doing are two different things. Love the question about the crying baby. Nothing says “unfriendly” like every head in the congregation swiveling around to sneer at a crying baby.

  2. Have been to churches while traveling that no one spoke. However, went to church go Christ on st Thomas, and was treated like royalty. Will never forget how wonderful they were.

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