Friendly Begins With Me

"Friendly Begins with Me"


We took a trip to South Dakota in September of 2017. We happened to be in the town of Custer on Sunday so we worshiped with the Southern Hills church of Christ.  Having to wait for buffalo to cross the road we were a little late to bible class. They might have moved a little faster had they been able to hear John's rendition of Roger Miller's "You Can't Roller Skate in a Buffalo Heard."


When bible class was over two men introduced themselves to us. Shortly, after talking with them I realized they too were visitors.  They didn't know if we were regulars or visitors but that didn't matter. They just started a conversation.  I did make a comment to the one of them how impressed I was he did this. I shared with him there had been churches we had visited, who may have implied a "hi" with quick eye contact or a nod of their head as they walked pass us on their way to the door. This led to further discussion that sadly some churches don't even know who are regulars or who are visitors and sharing our personal insights as to why. We did agree that knowing people takes time and commitment to be the church rather than just going to church no matter where you are worshipping. He then said something that has stayed with me since that day, "No matter what the reason, "Friendly, begins with me."


I am pretty sure this church would probably know who were visitors as their normal attendance is twelve.  On that day, there were around 40.  The church was so excited to see these many visitors worshipping with them. They were even more excited that they had run out of communion cups and had to fill more to serve those on the back two pews.


Even with the small size of the church, there were still those who implied a "hi" with quick eye contact or a nod of their head as they passed us on their way to the door. However, many stayed after worship to talk.  There were no visitors, no regulars, no conservatives, no liberals, no traditional, no non-traditional just plain old Christians -- the church -- the body of Christ who came together because of one person who lived what he believed ...  "Friendly, begins with me."


"If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours."      -Author unknown


"Smile at people everywhere you go. Don't just give them one of those half-smirk/head nod things. Raise your eyebrows, show those teeth, and chuckle while you smile. Next time you're at the store, give a full-hearted smile to at least three complete strangers. You'll be amazed at what this does for them and for you."                        Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing



Matthew 26: 26-30

Acts 11:26

Acts 20:7

Acts 2:42-47

©Melinda Sutherland October 2017

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