The second word in our vision statement and the second lesson in this sermon series is welcoming. From the beginning, welcoming has been a part of the DNA of Chenal Valley Church. Danny’s attitude of never having met a stranger and Bert’s ability to make individuals feel seen laid the foundation for this congregation. At Chenal, we have always wanted individuals to know that they are welcome to a larger purpose and not just a seat in an auditorium.
If we include the concept of welcoming as part of our vision statement, it must be more than just phrase. Welcoming must be a part of our culture. For it to become part of our culture, intentionality from parking lot to parking lot must be instilled within everyone. We want individuals to know that they have a place from day one. Members do not have to wait for years to have a turn at getting involved, but are readily welcomed into ministries as soon as they are ready.
The beautiful part of welcoming is that the concept is grounded in Scripture. When Jesus talks about welcoming people in Matthew 5, he notes that we should be ready to welcome anyone, not just individuals we like. The teachings of Jesus are echoed in the writings of Paul when Paul notes that, while there is beauty in our differences, we are still one in Christ.