I recently learned of a teenager’s first-ever visit to Alsbury.
She apprehensively entered our youth group. I imagine all of us know that feeling. One of our workers saw her. Though engaged in conversation with others, he excused himself and approached the young lady to welcome her to the group.
He asked a few questions,
listened attentively to her answers,
and introduced her to others.
These simple, friendly actions may have changed her life.
I remember my first experience in church as a youth. The morning after I met Christ I walked into a Sunday School room and took a seat. I knew nobody. A young lady got out of her chair and moved to the one next to me. She asked which of Albuquerque’s nine high schools I attended. She asked about my family, wondering if they visited the church with me that morning. She introduced me to others.
Two young men shared their testimony to our group. They had met Christ that week at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes retreat. One of the two was Steve Garrett, who remained my closest friend for the following four decades. The other was Gary Tipton, who to this day holds me accountable for the life I live.
That first experience forever changed my life.
I have been an active part of a community of Christians ever since. So has each member of my family.
I wonder who will attend Alsbury for the first time this Sunday. Who will take the initiative to welcome them to our worship service or to a small group Bible study? All it takes is a handshake and a couple of very simple questions. Take time to listen to the answers. Introduce them to others. Who knows, maybe someone will share a similar experience to mine forty years from today.