The left hand of fellowship?

It is good to have a warm greeting when you enter a church. A warm smile, a cheerful hello and a good handshake all help someone feel at home. It’s good to greet.

But even churches which get that right have a problem: What to do when the person you are greeting is using a walking stick or crutch in their right hand, or has a missing or prosthetic limb? How do we greet these people?

As one of “these people,” this is what happens: When I enter with a stick or crutch in my right hand I am nearly always offered a right hand, I have to change hands with the stick to accept the handshake.

Or if I offer my left hand what happens then?

One of two things, either I have to twist my hand round to shake the greeter’s right hand, which I am fine with but id does show a lack of care on behalf  of the greeter, or worse: the greeter’s hand is taken away.

This has really happened, the person who is supposed to be greeting at the door has refused to take my hand because it is not the conventional right hand.

Take a look at this advert, it is aimed at business, but it applies to church too. In fact more so because there seems to be so many more handshakes going on in church.

So church greeters, look at the person, don’t just go through the motions.


2 thoughts on “The left hand of fellowship?

  1. Excellent blog. I was on a bowling team with a woman who had a disabled right hand. A hand shake was unbearably painful for her. We learned quickly to do left-handed high fives, but certainly observed plenty of awkward moments from opposing teams.

    1. I don’t mind the awkwardness of people at church, but those who’s job it it to greet at the door should know about this. I’m fine by the way, I’m thinking about what the reaction to someone new would be if they were greeted inappropriately.

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