Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


A Friendly Church

  • Jim Townsley
  • Apr 2, 2015

Churches should be friendly, but for the right reasons. The function of the church is to win the lost, edify itself, and make disciples. There is not an admonition necessarily to be friendly, however it is assumed friendliness will enable the church to fulfill its biblical role of winning the lost. The church is clearly admonished to be holy, separated from the world, loving all men, and living by faith. Friendliness is a means to an end, not an end in itself. It is possible for a church to be friendly but devoid of a soul-winning fervor and a godly lifestyle. Therefore it is important to recognize that a church should be friendly in order that souls can be won and the church can be built in a way that honors God.

It is a sad reality that many churches are not friendly or welcoming at all. Unfortunately, some people are satisfied with status quo and for selfish or fleshly reasons they are concerned only with themselves. Churches such as this will be ineffective in fulfilling the great commission. Sadly, too many members are more concerned about realizing the American dream than in fulfilling the great commission and as a result there is little interest in reaching the lost.

If a church is to be a good church its members must exhibit a genuine love for souls which will be revealed by outward acts of friendliness. Friendliness in the church will be the most obvious manifestation of Christianity to visitors. It must be remembered that there is no such thing as a seeker sensitive church. The Bible clearly states that no man seeks after God.  "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." -- Romans 3:10-12. 

The church is commanded to go into the world and the preach the gospel, not to entertain or court the world. Friendliness must not be confused with organizing the church to become acceptable to the world. The Bible teaches us that a lost person cannot understand spiritual truth.  "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." -- 1 Corinthians 2:14.  The gospel is foolishness to a lost soul. The purpose of friendliness is not to build the largest church but rather to exemplify love to a soul condemned to hell. It is imitating the love of Christ.

A genuine love for Christ will guide the church to manifest a love for the lost. This love must be taught and demonstrated by the pastor and the key leaders of the church. No one should have to be appointed as a greeter for someone to be friendly and welcoming to a church visitor. Therefore the idea of being a friendly church should be the result of a work of grace in the heart of the church family. A holy church will be a church that loves the lost. In training people to be friendly it must be remembered that true friendliness begins with a holy life.

Instruction should be given to the leaders of the church explaining how friendliness can be a tool to winning the lost. The best prospects for salvation are the ones that visit the church. It would be a shame for visitors to be ignored while visiting a church service. Members must learn to be soul-conscious. Teach people from the pulpit what is expected and actually take time during a service to show people how to be friendly. Periodically explain what you expect a good Christian should do and ask members to put into practice what they have been taught. People should learn to come early and walk through the auditorium greeting regulars and looking for visitors. In addition, members should stay after the service spending a few minutes meeting new people. Becoming a friendly church is possible if people are being taught and if God is doing a work of grace in their hearts. Friendliness can become a natural and regular virtue of the Christian life.