It was with sadness that Cheryl and I received the resignation notice of our pianist, Clayton Nunes. Clayton has been such a blessing to Montgomery Hills over the last decade. He and Juliana, Isaac, and infant daughter Kaley will be accepting a call to a new ministry position in Colorado. We pray God’s blessings on him as he takes up a new chapter in his life and ministry.
Clayton’s many gifts, his humble heart, and his dedication and commitment to our Lord will never be forgotten, and he will always occupy a place in our hearts. On July 31st, there will be a farewell reception following the worship hour, and we will have an opportunity to express our gratitude. We will also be receiving a love offering for Clayton. We encourage you to be present on the 31st as we thank God for
Clayton’s ministry among us and with us.
Switching gears! Research indicates that the reason people walk into a church for the first time has to do with either a death in the family, a divorce, a displacement of some sort, or a disaster. When people do enter our doors, I know they receive a warm welcome from a very open and friendly congregation. However, I believe we need to do a better job at following up on our visitors and guests. Generally speaking, churches find that only 10% of their first-time guests return, which is both sad and discouraging, because we believe this is a unique and gifted church, and it is our great desire to reach people for Christ. Well, what can we do to follow up? We are going to be experimenting with a new guest follow-up system in the coming weeks and months. Join with me in praying that this new effort will enable us to move from that 10% level to 20, 30, 40%, or higher!
In connection with this, I am trying to build a team of people who have a “heart-burst” for those who visit our church each Sunday. I am looking for those who would be willing to commit some time each week to make a phone call, drop a note, or take a small gift to our guests. Please contact me or Lynda if you are interested in participating on such an outreach team.
Each time a guest enters our building there is an opportunity for us to make a lasting impression. They have made the effort to worship with us for some reason. So we want to make every effort to help them feel the welcome of Christ and to motivate them to return, again and again.
Summer is often a season when people are moving to the Washington area and looking for a new church home. We have more guests than usual. So, who will come and join the outreach team effort this summer? Together, let’s continue to build an atmosphere of hospitality, for it remains one of the most important ways we put our Christian faith into action.
Love and peace, Joel
Pastor Joel Hawthorne