Hi church. Thanks so much for hanging in there praying through this month of prayer. Today we are focusing on growing through welcoming everyone. Matthew 25:35 quotes Jesus saying: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35 ESV). In this parable of the Sheep and the Goats, Jesus wants us to know the importance to look out for one another, even the stranger. Think about this. Every Sunday the Lord blesses us with around 5 visitors. Now out of that five, some are visiting while on holidays, some are visiting with family members, but say if only 2 are looking for a church to belong to. As you know good preaching, quality programs for children and youth are reasons why people might stay. Welcoming though is just as important. Looking out for the new person and authentically welcoming them and showing interest in who they are make a big difference in that person’s decision to stay or not at the church. Many at Reedy do this well. We value numerical growth through heart felt welcoming not just at church but at our groups and events. Let’s pray that we as a church will grow in our welcome of new people – both on Sundays but also in our weekly groups.