News and Articles
7 July 2014
Gregg Ramirez foccuses on how we can all share the love of Jesus, wherever we go and whoever we meet simply by, smiling!
I was reflecting, as you do, during a 5 mile walk this morning on something that James one of the newcomers to our life-group was saying during a conversation the other week. He had been really knocked out by the welcome that he’d received when he started to try Above Bar as his church at the beginning of the year.
James has been coming back to the Lord after a protracted period away and had tried a couple of other churches in and around Southampton. He was wary of our ‘larger’ church perhaps being faceless. What so encouraged him was that people on the First Impressions team remembered his name, where he was from, had time for him and were really genuine.
He felt that the welcome continued through the newcomers group too; Jesus’ love in action.
Now for the last six months I have been involved with communicating the Refresh project and that continues apace. But sometimes you can get so caught up in what you are doing you can lose sight of the goals and reason behind what you are doing.
James’ comments have helped to bring into focus again for me just why we have embarked on the Refresh project.
Yes it’s about the Social Action programme and CAP and the Youth programme and of course the building refurbishment so that our building can be transformed into a highly visible hub of welcome and mission at the heart of our city,
But it is also summed up in the work that our First Impression team and the teams that run the Newcomers groups do in being Jesus’ love in action.
Before a worship song is sung (and we have great worship bands), before a sermon is preached (and we have great preachers who teach the Bible), we are ministered to wonderfully by the ‘First Impressions’ team. That smile and handshake, those first words of welcome, the willingness to help, to introduce, make you feel accepted, honoured and yes, loved!
That is why the Refresh project is so important, that is why we are doing what we are doing to build and develop the work at the heart of and across the city. The simple call to be disciples who make disciples, sharing the good news of Jesus’ love… expressed in a smile, a greeting of welcome and His love in action.