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A Theology of Greeting? Really?

November 21, 2011

Yesterday I met with our Welcome Team at church.  I talked about a Theology of Greeting.  I took them to Matthew 5:43-48 where Jesus talks about loving your enemies.  I thought this is something we all should be aware of in every aspect of our lives, not just at church on Sunday morning.

Jesus says “And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others?  Do not even the tax collectors do this?” (NKJV, emphasis mine).  This falls into one of the “hard sayings of Jesus” for sure!  This word (greet) is used upwards of 59 times in the New Testament.  The root is believed to have come from the word for “Attract”.  Out of fear of being accused of being anachronistic, I will not say we should attract people (I’ll let Paul tell you that in 1 Corinthians 9).  What I am saying is there is a purpose in everything, even greeting.

It’s a hard saying, but it’s reality, if you only greet your buddies on Sunday morning, what makes you different from the world?  The answer is nothing makes you different.  I’ll take it a step further, when Jesus was talking in Matthew 5 the church wasn’t in existence, so he’s probably speaking into everyday life.  Does that make the saying harder?  I hope not.  As leaders we need to have our radar up all the time for people around us that need that extra touch, that extra measure of love.  Maybe part of the “greeting” process is inviting your “neighbors” (if you want to know who your neighbor is read Luke 10:25-37) into your small group or inviting them to church on Sunday.

The best part of this is we don’t have a greeting ministry at our church for the sake of greeting or filling ministry holes with people.  All of this flows out of the Great Commandment “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind” and spills over into the second commandment “Love your neighbor as yourself”.  We do it because we love others!  That makes it easier, or harder.  The difficulty level is up to you!

Lead with Love,


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