As child I grew up in a Southern Baptist minister's home and went to the same church multiple times each week. However, when our family went on vacations, we visited other churches.
Some of these churches were friendly and some were cold. Some large churches featured beautiful architecture and others were small and served rural communities.
Two of these church visits stand out in my memory: one good and one bad.
I first encountered racism in a Sunday school class in a small church when kids bragged about their community being so good because it didn't have blacks. I was stunned by their words.
On another trip our family visited a church in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My sister and I were welcomed into the youth group by a very friendly teenager that wanted us to feel welcome there. Although we were strangers, we felt at home.
In Matthew 25:35 (NIV) Jesus said, "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in."
I want to be like that girl in New Mexico that invited us in. She set a great example for all of us. As Christians we should show great hospitality to people seeking Christ, looking for fellowship, or visiting our church for other reasons.