I was just thinking about my tennis expedition the other day. About how much fun I had, and what I would have missed had I chickened out and not gone. About how similar the first-time visitor at church must feel. About the importance of a positive welcome and the value of encouragement.
Nobody seemed to mind that I was a complete novice in regular tennis terms. When I hit a good shot they congratulated me, when I hit a bad one they encouraged me. No one criticised my technique or tried to put me right. It was wonderfully refreshing and I came home eager to return next week and try again.
How do we transfer those values into church life?