Researchers at Pennsylvania State University concluded that “huggers are happier.” Another study linked people that hug with a diminished rate of sickness. So greet people you know with a hug and experience the joy and better health of showing people that they matter to you and to God. That’s how Jesus and the disciples greeted others.
Also, don’t be afraid to step outside your circle of friends you know at Cowboy Church and introduce yourself to someone you don’t know. It doesn’t have to be a visitor either. It could be someone you see every Sunday but have never taken the time to introduce yourself. Stick out your hand, smile and make them feel welcome. Then next Sunday go back and shake their hand again. A hug might come in time but if it doesn’t that’s O.K. as long as they feel welcome. Your welcome greeting may be huge to them. They may be looking for a friend; they may be looking for a church home or they may be looking for Jesus. John 15:12 says, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
You may never know the difference you made in someone’s life by just taking the time to make them feel welcome at Cowboy Church. It can change their life and your life for the better. A handshake is great but a hug is powerful. It’s also contagious in a good way.
The greatest welcome greeting has yet to be issued. It will come from Jesus himself to you someday. Matthew 25:23 says, “You did well. You are a good and loyal servant. Because you were loyal with small things, I will let you care for much greater things. Come and share my joy with me”. Can you imagine getting a hug from Jesus when he welcomes you home?