and when he (apollos) wished to cross to achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. [acts 18:27a]
who are you welcoming into the community of believers?
it is hard to step into a new place.
if you are a part of matthias lot church or another local church – do you remember the first time you stepped into a worship service or a small group? do you remember who welcomed you in and made you feel a part? do you remember those who went out of their way to be intentional in conversation, questions, a smile, or a prayer?
it is hard to step into a new place – no matter who you are.
five years ago, my wife and i came to matthias and i came as a staff member, a pastor – and it was hard. getting to know a new body of believers, making friends, feeling at home, feeling a part – took a lot of time. however, there was one thing that made the whole process enjoyable and bearable – those who “welcomed me in.”
apollos was an outsider to the body of believers in achaia. paul had paved the way there as an apostle, a church planter, and a pastor. but apollos believed God wanted him to go there to encourage the believers. his being “welcomed in” no doubt played a huge role in how quickly he adapted to a new place and new people and God’s calling for him there.
please hear me, every day new people that are hungering for the presence of Jesus, hungering for his word, for prayer, for growth, and for a place and people to do that with – enter our body. they show up on wednesday, they come to dinners, they are invited to lot families. will they be “welcomed in?” that all depends on whether we will be intentional in this Spirit ordained task to welcome others in.
give us eyes to see those who are new, those who seem to have no friendships, or no relationships in our body. give us a welcoming Spirit – the same heart and love with which you welcomed us into your family – allow us to have to welcome others in to this family. in Jesus’ way and in Jesus’ name – amen!
~ john ryan