Spreading Sunday Aloha
Spreading Sunday Aloha
The other day I was listening to a Casting Crowns song, “If We are the Body”, and the lyrics started to make me uneasy. “It’s crowded in worship today. As she slips in trying to fade into the faces. The girls teasing laughter is carrying farther than they know. But if we are the body, Why aren’t His arms reaching? Why aren’t His hands healing? Why aren’t His words teaching? Why is His love not showing them there is a way?”
At Harbor Church, there are times when it feels crowded, with lots of new faces. Maybe these visitors have had a bad experience with church in the past. Or maybe they just moved into the neighborhood and want to meet some new people. It would be so easy and comfortable to just talk and catch up with those you know from your community group or those you partner in ministry with.
But how would Jesus want us to respond when we see a new person at church? With a warm smile, a gentle hug, or to engage someone in conversation. Doing this might make your Sunday mornings at church a little more uncomfortable, but I’m confident that God will use you to be a blessing to someone or for you to be blessed, too. Here are a couple of ways to consider how you can live out God’s desire for us to be the Body of Christ on Sunday mornings.
Extending Our Ohana:
During a time of crisis, we can do some crazy things. We may leave the house with mix-matched outfits or leave something important on the dining room table. If someone collapsed at church, we would quickly attend to this emergency and mobilize help. But every week, visitors are entering our church and being ignored. And this is a crisis for their spiritual health. People’s spiritual well-being are at stake.
And what if it’s a regular attender who is sitting alone? This, too, can be a crisis that needs our attention. It is comfortable to sit in the same seat or row every Sunday at worship service. But what if we tried something uncomfortable, like sitting in an area that is new to us. Sitting alongside people of a different age group, race, or socio-economic class is how living as one body of Christ-followers should look like. I know that a couple of our members specifically look to sit with different people each Sunday as a way of welcoming unfamiliar faces or sitting alongside those who sit alone. How will you be a blessing to someone at church this week?
Live Out Lokahi:
One way that we can live out unity and harmony at church is by building and making connections and bridges between visitors and regular attenders. One of the perks of my job is getting to meet visitors over coffee to share a little bit about our church and to find out more about them. From hearing about these people’s interests, skills, and backgrounds, it allows me to help make connections for these new friends to a community group or ministry opportunity. And all it takes is talking to someone in church and finding out a little bit more about them.
I have seen multiple connections being made between people who speak the same native language, attended cross-town rival high schools in a foreign country, and bringing people together through the common interest of a sport or hobby.
E Wiwo ʻOle Kākou:
Let’s be bold and take a chance this Sunday morning by meeting someone new or sitting by a visitor or in another section of the church. Don’t worry about offending a friend in your community group by not talking to them or sitting next to them at church (like you do every Sunday). In fact, maybe you will find someone who lives nearby and might be interested in attending your community group.
If we are the body of Christ, let’s be the arms that reach, the hands that heal, and show the love that Jesus Christ first showed to us. Who knows, you might make a new friend or help someone come one step closer to knowing Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.