John Bisagno once was the pastor of First Baptist Church, Houston, Texas. When the church was considering him to be their pastor, he visited one Sunday to preach.
As he entered the dimly-lit auditorium, there were just a few people huddled together. As Bisagno described it, they were singing some depressing, old, slow funeral-type song.
Later that day he took a walk in downtown Houston and passed a jewelry store which was having a grand opening. There were bright lights and a greeter at the door to welcome customers in with a smile. Inside there was a celebration going on. There were refreshments and people having a good time talking and laughing with each other. They welcomed him and offered him some punch.
Bisagno said that after attending both the church and the jewelry store, if the jewelry store had offered an invitation, he would have joined the jewelry store!
We have begun a new church year here at Utica Baptist Church. It is the responsibility of every member to make sure that no one enters this building today without a handshake, a smile, a kind word, even a hug. Folks, we represent a loving Savior who has made it possible for us to have eternal life, beginning now. It is the greatest news anyone could share, and our study, prayer, fellowship and worship gatherings should reflect our love and adoration for Christ. Let's not be outdone by a jewelry store!
--Rocky Henriques, www.uticabc.com