I remember walking into the Vineyard for the first time. My husband and I were first greeted by a woman who we had coincidentally met the night before at Enjoy the Store. Her first words were “Hi guys, I was just thinking about you.” We proceeded to be greeted by more people and then of course by the wonderful coffee mugs waiting for us to fill and cozy up with as we found a seat. The same woman that first greeted us stood up front saying something about “Everyone gets to play.” She was genuine and real, just like everyone else I met there. It was refreshing. They weren’t greeting me out of duty, but I got a sense that they loved this place and were hoping I would too.
A few weeks later it had already felt like home. And although we were still new, I decided to take it upon myself to act like this place was my home. A home I could now welcome others into. So even though it was uncomfortable at first, I walked around and met new people, asked them their name, smiled and introduced myself. I did not know if I would meet someone who had gone to the church for years or if it was their first time. It didn’t matter. I just wanted others to feel just as welcome and accepted like I had felt that first day. It felt good to stop thinking about myself and my fears or insecurities being in a new church and in a big group of people. I got to share what I loved about the church and answer their questions.
I met some wonderful people that were brand new to the church. Since then they have taken it upon themselves to call the Vineyard their home and love and welcome others. These same people have just this week extended so much support and encouragement to me as my husband and I go through a huge transition. They saw an opportunity to love and care for me and it again inspires me to do the same.
This passed Sunday Wes spoke about the Lag goals for this season in the Vineyard…More Jesus, more mission, more growth. And for those of you that have come to the Vineyard before, I want you to know that you are welcome to call this your home. You are a part of this vision and will be the hands and feet of how it is carried out. This is your place to welcome others into. It is a space for you to bring who you are and love people with the gifts God has specifically given you. Feel free to take it upon yourself to love others by welcoming them into our home weather you be at work, out on a Friday night, or at a Sunday morning service. After all, when you invite someone to our home, you are welcoming them to hear more about our sweet Jesus, the one who first loved us and has changed us. And if you had not realized, welcoming and loving others is a very simple way of bringing more Jesus, more mission and more growth.
About the Author
Krystal Burke is married to Kyler and together they have two amazing sons! With passion for God’s kingdom, joy for loving people, and one of the most gifted bakers in the universe, Krystal is a huge blessing to the Vineyard community and Red Bluff in general.