Belonging matters.

Linda and I were welcomed warmly by staff on Friday night. We were blessed they were willing to be available to us after they had worked all day.

The tables we requested for our sales materials were perfectly set up. White, crisp tablecloths and black and white table runners were ideal. We were able to be very efficient as we got ready for our seminars on Saturday and Sunday.

They volunteered to set our newsletter sign-up forms and Psalm 139 bookmarks on every chair. Not only was that welcoming for the people who would be attending, but it blessed Linda and me as it meant more people were likely to sign up for the newsletter. They did this for all three seminars.

On Saturday and Sunday, signs in the parking lot directed people. Signs on the door helped people know where to enter.

Staff met people at both entry points to quickly welcome them and assure them they were in the right place. Handouts were on the tables, easy for each person to grab.

Homemade snacks were beautifully displayed. A variety of muffins in the morning. Large cookies of unique variety in the evening. Three cake choices on Sunday afternoon. Signs professionally printed announcing flavors and “no nuts.”

When we began, staff warmly welcomed everyone, graciously introduced me, and prayed for our time of teaching and learning.

At breaks, staff circulated. Conversations were rich. Three volunteers at each event eagerly helped Linda at the sales tables. More people’s needs were met.

After each of the three seminars, staff were the last to leave. They made sure Linda and I were well and aware of that was happening next.

Last night, they helped us pack up sales, took it to my car for us, and even put things in the trunk for us. I don’t believe that’s ever happened before.

Belonging matters.

Linda and I were able to be as effective as we were partly because belonging was so solid. It facilitates competence.

People were able to concentrate and learn because of how they were welcomed. There was nothing to distract them. They felt significant and that feeling can determine everything else.

What can you do this week to increase the health of belonging at home, school, and/or work? Do it. Be a difference maker.