Have you ever purchase something online? Have you ever made hotel reservation online?
How do you determine whether to proceed engaging or purchasing an item or service with a particular online site?
Reviews and testimonials.
The reviews and testimonials of experiences influence your decision making.
In the church, the word testimony is being used to describe the first hand experience of God’s blessing one encounters and shares with fellow church goers for the reason of enriching and strengthen each others faith and beliefs in the divine.
Sometimes I do become jaded and lost as to why I go to church. Why must I go to church and who is church?
We are all called to be witness and be someone else’ reason for a testimony that God exists. I always remind myself my first experience in the church. The welcoming and sense of belonging the PEOPLE provided and extended to me made it such a wonderful experience that I was compelled to response – to stay and enjoy the rest of it.
If it was not because of that first experience, I would not have had the interest to continue seeking.
Just like someone extending a job opportunity, the person hiring would ask if one is INTERESTED to pursue the said opportunity. If there is a mutual interest from both parties, an interview will most probably take place to further discuss if it is a fit before extending an agreeable package.
Likewise, before we embrace a faith, it starts with the seed of interest and in order for that seed to be planted, we must first experience someone extending the Christ-like genuine hospitality and kindness.
There is a reason why we observe the year of Mercy throughout 2016 and some bishops have even called for the faithfuls to return “home” to the church.
How we as a church that reflects this calling to welcome others very much depends on how we be witnesses to the faith.
We will not be able to effectively be witnesses until we put into perspective the question – WHO IS CHURCH?
Is the church God?
We are church.
Church is where God dwells.
Therefore, we must act accordingly to reflect that God truly dwells in the church.
A place we can declare proudly – All Are Welcome…
Whenever you lose faith because the humans in the church have acted in a way that made you feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, and disappointed, take heart and be reminded of that first moment when God touched you with His genuine hospitality and kindness.
Focus on that moment and know the difference between the human and the Divine.
Always seek and believe in the Divine and not in humans…