This couple isn’t supposed to be at our church. One grew up Church of Christ, the other grew up in a traditional Baptist denomination. Both very conservative churches. Mt Vernon is about as contemporary and non-traditional as you can get. This couple isn’t supposed to be here, but they are, and this is their home now. Why? All because of a handshake.
When this couple first moved to town, they naturally tried out a local church of their denomination. Eager young couple, looking to build relationships and plant roots. Should be a home run for any church. When this couple walked up to their first church, they naturally stuck their hands out to the greeter at the door to shake his hand. We withdrew his hand and wouldn’t shake it. Just gave them a bulletin. They sat in church, and no one talked to them. No one. It didn’t matter if the location was convenient, the music was moving or the preaching was solid. They ruled out that church because of a handshake.
After that, they tried out Mt Vernon. They were blown away by our Welcome Team, and how friendly everyone was. They had their hands shook several times before they made it in our doors. (That’s intentional by the way). They sat in the back, and the couple in front of them turned around and engaged them in conversation. The next week, they sat in a different part of the worship center just to see if they would have the same experience. That Sunday the couple sitting in front of them (a different one) engaged them in conversation and invited them to lunch.
They’re here now, locked in and excited about getting plugged in at Mt Vernon. In reality, a handshake could have kept them at the other church.
That’s the power of a handshake.