By Paul Wilkinson

Keep in mind, as you read this, that we advertise our groups as starting at 8, 9:30, and 11 a.m.
If we are to be serious about hospitality and outreach, then we must be present in order to receive, love, and engage guests.
I was reading an article about the importance of punctuality. The author listed numerous reasons why being punctual is important:

  • Being punctual strengthens and reveals your integrity. (Think of time commitments as promises made.)
  • Being punctual shows you are dependable. (The visitor can count on you being present in their time of need because you were there to receive them in the beginning.)
  • Being punctual builds your self-confidence. (Teaches you to depend on yourself to follow through on commitments.)
  • Being punctual reveals your discipline. (We must organize and focus.)
  • Being punctual shows your humility. (They are more important than we are.)
  • Being punctual shows your respect for others. (We are in it for the kingdom.)
  • Being late is a form of stealing. (People wait with time they can never get back; moreover, we must not steal glory from Jesus by misrepresenting Him as not being “on time.”)
  • Being late disturbs the experience of other people. (We mustn’t ever take the focus off Jesus by distracting others.)
  • Being late strains your relationships. (We must elevate the value of receiving our guests that the Spirit has brought.)

You do not necessarily need to do all of this yourself. Take the need for punctuality as a challenge to empower some of your members to leadership. Develop a rotation schedule where at least a few people will be “on time” every week if you cannot do it yourself.
We must come to understand ourselves as Christ’s ambassadors. Part of that is that we are on time to receive those the Spirit has brought to us. George Washington’s secretary arrived late to a meeting and used his faulty watch as an excuse. Washington responded, “Then you must get another watch, or I another secretary.” The Lord has chosen you to represent Him: to lead others in the Word, to lead others in fellowship, and to lead others in outreach. May they never arrive to find us missing!