Any person who is minister of any sort – priest, pastor, a chaplain or just a visitor from the church – needs to remember that they are a representative of Jesus to the person they are visiting. To people who are hurting and especially people who have been hurt or felt marginalized by the church, any person who represents themselves as being from a church represents Jesus himself to them – represents God to them.
This means that you have to make sure that how you act is impeccable. If you make an appointment to visit with someone don’t be late. If you are late, you are saying to them that their time and concerns don’t matter to God.
If a newcomer visits your church and leaves their name and address for you to contact them, then do it within the week – and do it personally. A form letter won’t cut it – especially if it is two weeks late. People like to think that they are noticed and special and important. Make the extra effort, because you’re not just you anymore but the person you serve.
Consider it as if you are driving a delivery vehicle for some company. On the back of the vehicle there’s a bumper sticker that says “How’s my driving? Please call” and it gives a 1-800 number and your tag number. When you represent God to people you’re not you anymore – you’re representing something much bigger than you and it’s important that you be as perfect as you can be.