Most churches want to reach people; anyone who is actually trying to fulfill the Great Commission gives serious thought to strategies for doing so. Along with an aggressive outreach effort to reach people, many churches employ programs, campaigns, and various other tactics to keep guests once they have come.
However, one simple strategy that is often overlooked for reaching people is simply being happy. Several recent studies indicate that church growth and the ability to reach people for Christ are directly tied to happy church members. This actually works in two ways. The first being that people who love their church and are happy with it tend to invite people to attend with them in much greater numbers. Their enthusiasm for their church is, in a way, very contagious. We all tend to tell others about the things that we enjoy, whether it is a good book, a favorite restaurant, or our church.
The second way that happiness grows a church is by its attractive quality. Most people are attracted to a smile, enthusiasm, joy, and happiness. Most people’s hearts are void of these things but they desperately want to experience them. So when they see it, they are inquisitive. What we obviously want to do is tell people that it is Jesus who has made our hearts glad and that He can make their hearts glad too.
Happiness and joy then are a way of letting our light so shine! Happiness grows the church because happy people naturally tell others about the place they love, and because when guests come they are attracted to and want to be a part of a place where Jesus is real enough to bring them joy. A glad heart and a genuine smile are therefore two of the greatest gifts we can bring to church and give to a watching world.