Q  When new people come to my church, I am nervous their presence will change what I like about my church. Any advice?

A I understand your fear. You are right to point out that new people coming to check out your church may create changes in everything from children’s ministries to worship to leadership. Over the years, you have reached a certain level of comfort with the stability of church life. At the same time, the Lord has blessed your church with new people. This opens up opportunities to befriend, serve, and stretch your capacity to experience God in new ways.

It is a wonderful time to ask yourself how your gifts and time can be of service to enfold these new people in your fellowship and in discipleship in Jesus Christ. Possibly a young man needs your time and patience to help him learn the Bible. Maybe a new family in your neighborhood is looking for friendship. Perhaps a single mother is searching for children’s ministries for her two young kids. Allow the new people to see the quiet presence of Jesus by modeling the hospitality of our Lord as he adds to your church.

This kind of change is good, my friend!

About the Author

Reginald Smith is director of race relations and social justice for the Christian Reformed Church. He attends Madison Square Church in Grand Rapids, Mich.