Romans 15:7 Welcome and receive (to your hearts) one another, then, even as Christ has welcomed and received you, for the Glory Of God. (Amplified)
What does it mean to have a welcoming spirit? Dictionary.com states it means a kindly greeting or reception, as to one whose arrival gives pleasure: to give someone a warm welcome. To greet the arrival of (a person, guests, etc.) with pleasure or kindly courtesy. To receive or accept with pleasure; regard as pleasant or good: to welcome a change.
For me, in my new town that meant stop doing what comes naturally to an introvert with a productiveness problem (as in I must be productive every minute of the day) and that was tough. It meant stop taking up the place beside me with my purse but instead leave it open for someone to sit even if that meant they were a little close for my personal space preference. It meant saying hi and greeting people as they passed me to sit down for MOPS instead of using free time to organize my purse, or jot down a grocery list. Basically it meant not entering my own little world that my introvert self loves so much.
I envy the people who seem to have a natural welcoming spirit. I have to work at it. To stay in the head space where I notice those around me and truly take time to welcome them and let them know that I do care takes energy for me but it is also full of reward. That first year in our new town I found the more welcoming I was the longer I could take a conversation with a stranger and the longer I could make a conversation stretch the greater chance I had of soon calling this stranger a friend.
Tips for being welcoming:
1. Always wear a smile.
2. Pick some aspect of the person to comment on. Perhaps you have the same brand of purse as them, or you really like their sweater. Perhaps they are reading a book you like.
3.Try you absolute best to remember their name and one thing they told you so that next time you meet them you already have a conversation starter. For instance perhaps they told you they had a 3 yr old, ask about them next time.
4. Leave the seat beside you open. I mentioned this above but it bears repeating. People shy away from seats covered with purses and jackets but if you leave it open and you are waiting with a smile your body language will say you are open to getting to know them better.