It is always such a pleasure to introduce you to a new featured writer each month and today is no exception. Joan Davis, writes at Hope Secure. She and I met through a group called The Consilium and led several groups together for the members of that group. Joan is an encourager at heart and loves to share God and His Word. I know you will be blessed by her words today.
Here is Joan’s story, First Impression Specialist.
Several years ago I had the joy of being our church’s first receptionist. Prior to me taking the position, we didn’t have one particular person answering the phones or greeting people who came through the front door. However, as our church grew, the need to delegate some responsibilities (I’ll call them blessings) also grew.
I soon discovered that this position provided an opportunity to meet many new people, both to me and to the church. It also gave me an opportunity to serve in a way that seemed to suit my personality. I am cheerful by nature, and I’ve been told that I have a “good phone voice” (I’ve always been a bit amused by that!) So, as I dove into this new area of service, I was filled with joy by being able to use a gift that seemed to come so easily to me.
One of the women who often called into the office used to refer to me as the “First Impression Specialist”. On Sunday mornings when I’d run into her, she’d even introduce me that way to the people we met! I actually loved the description and new “title”, but with it also came an important responsibility… whoops, I mean blessing!
Through that fun nickname and the job I held, I became acutely aware that as people called or came into the office, they weren’t just calling to find out when the services began, they were looking for Jesus. They were hoping to find the community, joy and healing that He offers. And so, as I realized this, I made a point of trying to shine His light through my words, actions and even my demeanor. I didn’t want their first impression of this house of worship to be negative. Now, I’m not perfect – far from it! I know there have been times when I have not been a good witness. However, at other times, I have been fortunate enough to be able to reach out and share His love.
“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
That verse in Matthew reminds me of the children’s song, “This Little Light of Mine” –
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…
Let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine.
The song goes on to remind us not to hide the light (Christ’s Light) nor allow the enemy to snuff it out. But rather, we are to let it shine for all to see until Christ’s return! What great advice!
And so, starting with those days, years ago as a receptionist, I learned to let my light shine. I realized then that you never know who may be watching. When trials come and we look to Jesus for strength, people will see. When we remember to reach out in love to those around us, people will see. When we stumble and fall… and then grasp God’s hand to help us up again, people will see.This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine .. today, tomorrow, and until Christ's return. #TellHisStory #featuredwriter #linkup @ourhopesecure #JoanDavis #firstimpressionspecialist Click To Tweet
How we respond to the people and situations around us is so important. I learned that if we want to point people to Jesus, we need to become “First Impression Specialists” because our most powerful witness is in our actions. So, let us remember to show His love and His Light to the world. That way, He will shine for all to see.
Shining for Him,
Thank you for welcoming Joan and don’t forget to leave her some love. Take a minute and visit Joan at her place, Hope Secure, too.
***I’m going to go to a quarterly recap instead of monthly. It seems more manageable for me. Come back the end of June for Quarterly Musings.
***There will be no linkup or post on June 4. I will be out of town and look forward to some down time.
***Join me throughout the month of June for the one year birthday of me taking over, Tell His Story. Let’s celebrate this beautiful community. Here is the first post and linkup I shared.
***If you are a regular here, will you please share via my contact form what you like about the Tell His Story community? Thank you!
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I would love to be greeted by you anywhere. You shine through your writing and I can almost see you smile. Thank you for reminding us we are all Gods ambassadors.
Thanks for being here, Maree Dee!
Aw, thank you so much Maree! I was just talking with my granddaughter this morning, telling her how a simple smile can brighten someone’s day. It is so important to always shine for Him! Blessings, Jo
In keeping with your “First Impression Specialist” theme, I say that I always want my “life arrow” pointing toward God. So true that we introduce people to Christ through our successes, failures, trials, and victories. Someone is always watching. May we let our lights shine forth as Christ’s ambassadors! Lovely post!
The idea of a life arrow is new to me but makes perfect sense. I also pray my life arrow points to God and in the process points others to Him too.
I was surprised when I learned how we can point people to Jesus simply by following Him and allowing Him to guide us through all things in our lives. Many times it is in the difficult times, when we cling to him that people see Him the most. They see His strength and what an encouragement that is! Blessings, Jo
Great post Jo! We are indeed First impression ambassadors for Jesus!
You’re most welcome to join me in a cuppa,
Hi Jennifer! Yes, it is so important to shine for Jesus!
Jo, I was a church receptionist for a short while. It’s not an easy job, but at the same time can be so rewarding! I love your idea of being first impression specialists <— great point and so true! Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragments. So glad I followed you over here to read the rest of this. So good!
Just like the title of your ministry, InstaEncouragements, we can instantly encourage someone by being welcoming and shining Christ’s light! And, what a joy that is! Thanks for taking the time to follow the links and find me here! Blessings!
We are often all in the position of being the first impression specialist. I love that. laurensparks.net
Yes, the impression we leave should always reflect our Lord! Blessings!
Thank you for this message, Jo! My husband is on the “First Impressions” team at our church. He often works in the parking lot and is such an inspiration to me to be encouraging to both first-time visitors as well as people who come every week. You’re right; everyone is really just looking for Jesus, even if they aren’t aware of it.
What a great ministry your husband serves in! Being welcomed even in the parking lot, makes a huge difference in how someone feels. (Welcomed or ignored). Jesus wants us to love our neighbors and what better time to do that than when they are searching for Him! Blessings!
I love the “title” The thing with first impressions is that we never get a second chance to make it, so we need to continually take care of our spiritual life so we keep in alignment with Jesus. Then the impression we make will be His, not ours, and that cannot be anything but good. I know we all fail, all too often for me at least, but thankfully He is forgiving. And when we ask for forgiveness from those we have perhaps not been a good witness to, we might just have a chance to rectify that first impression. I am not an official greeter at our church, but I do sit at the back because I am not able to sit on the hard pews. So when people come in, I usually get to greet them, hug them, introduce myself if they are new. I like that better than the official place right at the door. I may not be the first impression, but if the second is as good as the first, then I am happy. Thank you for your words of encouragement.
I love that, Diane! So often people come into a church on Sunday and the official greeters miss them or are greeting someone else. The fact that you go out of your way to welcome someone, especially a new person, is huge! I have visited churches before and no one has even looked at me. That always made me feel unwelcome – even though I realize that it can be an oversight. But, each time I’ve gone somewhere new and I’m acknowledged, it makes me want to come back. It gives me a feeling of family, like I’m coming home.
I love how you change “responsibility” to “blessing,” Jo. 🙂 It’s such a great way to think. I’m grateful for the difference you can make as a loving, compassionate receptionist. You mentioned in a comment above, “There are so many people who are lonely and hurting and even a simple smile and a kind word can give them hope, drawing them to Him.” Amen! Love and blessings to both you and Mary!
Hi Trudy! Thanks 🙂 Those responsibilities truly became blessings once I realized how important it was to be welcoming to those calling and coming in the office. It is a such a gift to be able to encourage and shine for Jesus! Blessings!
Jo, that first impression is so important – sounds like you are just the one to do it!
Thanks, Susan! A smile and a cheerful demeanor goes a long way to helping people feel welcomed! Blessings!
I loved reading your story, Joan, and I love your calling to make a good first impression for Jesus. I think for people entering a church that can be so important and have a big impact on whether they stick around and get involved.
Yes, that is what I quickly learned while serving as the receptionist! People are looking for hope, and when we are welcoming to others, that is a great first step to point them to Jesus!
I just love the title as it is so just right for that position…whether the impression is a great one or not so great! Glad that you are the one to be that first impression! Thank you for encouraging my heart this day too.
Hi Linda! I’m so glad you were encouraged today! My hope is that the impression I leave is one that always encourages and points people to Jesus! Blessings!
Powerful and fresh insight, Joan. I love the idea of being “First Impression Specialists” for Jesus. Sure, the title brings responsibility on our part, and we won’t always get it right. But it gives us a description of truly being Jesus with skin as we interact with others and shine our light into the darkness.
Thanks for sharing, Mary, and I’m a newbie here, so glad I found you and the link-up community. Looking forward to more inspirational posts.
Joan … I love this! What a high and holy calling you’ve been placed in!
To meet someone overflowing with joy and love at the entrance to a church … what a huge gift, what a needed welcome.
Thanks, Linda! I really do believe that we need to express our love for Jesus and the joy we have in Him. There are so many people who are lonely and hurting and even a simple smile and a kind word can give them hope, drawing them to Him. Blessings!
Joan, you sound like EXACTLY the right individual to be the first person someone would encounter upon entering a church. I can feel God’s light shining through you from the words you have written here. And now I will have the tune “This Little Light of Mine” stuck in my head all day! 🙂 Thank you for sharing!
Thank you! Being the First Impression Specialist (aka the receptionist) brought me so much joy as well! I think that when we serve, using the gifts that God gave us, He blesses us with a wonderful satisfaction of knowing we are helping. We may not be able to preach like a pastor can, but we can share Jesus even with a simple “hello”! Blessings!
Such a good story, Joan. May we remember that we leave an impression wherever we go. Blessings!
Yes! I like to say that I can see God’s fingerprints when I look at different situations. The impression we leave with others is like that… I pray that I can always leave a welcoming, Christ-like impression!
Love the title “First Impression Specialist.” Whether we like it or not, that’s exactly what we are if we call ourselves Christians. May we all walk worthy of our calling.
Hi Yvonne! I so agree! I used to have a Christian fish on the back of my car, and because it was there, I was even more careful to be a courteous driver. (And ashamed of myself when I wasn’t!) It is so important to remember that we are all ambassadors for Christ and that responsibility is nothing to take lightly! Blessings to you!
Oh, Joan, YES! The light does shine through even your words on the web, so I can only just imagine what it must be like in person!
Thanks, Mary, for this opportunity to read a bit more of Joan’s story here in the gathering.
Thank you, Michele! I once had someone ask me if I were a Christian. (It was at a different job). I told her that I was, but asked how she knew. She said she could “just tell”. She said that my positive attitude encouraged her. What a complement that was! And, it made me even more aware that people are watching for that Light that only Christ can shine! Blessings!
Thanks for sharing your story here, Joan! It is so true that a first impression affects the way we perceive a person or organization! I want to shine for Jesus!
I was so honored that Mary asked me to share here! May we all remember to shine for Jesus! Blessings!
What a great title, and an important ministry! We do need to be so aware of what impressions our words and actions make for His sake.
Yes! So many of us may feel that we’re not qualified to do the “big things” for Jesus. However, God equips each of us in unique ways. And even a simple smile can brighten someone’s day, pointing them to Jesus. Blessings!
Such a good reminder that we are the light (even when we don’t think we are!)
This community offers a sweet space of encouragement for like-minded writers. I’m grateful for the place to link-up and meet new people!
Hi Rebecca! I agree and am so thankful for Mary and the #TellHisStory link up! I’ve met so many wonderful people through this space! Blessings!
Joan, what a great title! First Impression Specialist. I try to reflect Jesus in my daily interactions with a smile, a kind word. My hope is that people come away from interactions encouraged. I want to be more intentional about conducting myself in word, action, and demeanor in a way that lifts people’s eyes to our Savior. Because you’re right . . . we never know who’s watching.
Thank you for sharing this!
Hi Jeanne! That is my hope as well! To be able to encourage someone through our words and actions is a huge blessing! And, when we realize that people can see Jesus in us, we are in turn encouraged! Blessings!