THE CHURCH & HUGGERS

I love watching the Special Olympics. Recently while watching, they interviewed one of the young ladies who volunteers every year to help. She said she signs up for the same job every year and loves it. If you ask her what she does she’ll tell you “I’m a hugger. Every person who participates in any event gets a hug.” As you watch these special young people compete, some aren’t able to swim very far, some aren’t able to run very fast and some aren’t even able to finish, but as each person gets done they get a big hug for their effort.

You know – our world needs more huggers. Most of us respond more quickly to encouragement and affirmation than we do put-downs and intimidation. If I understand the Bible correctly, the church is to be a place where people affirm, encourage, and support each other – spiritual hugging.

In today’s world we place so much emphasis on winning that we overlook people who are doing their best. The reward of personal satisfaction doesn’t always go to the best but to the one who does his best. Have you given a “hug” lately to someone who simply participated and did his or her best?

The church is known for a lot of things, both good and bad. I think it would be great if the church was known as a “hugging” place? The church ought to be the most encouraging place in the world.

I saw this video recently about hugging that was taken on the streets of Hollywood, California. The video is great and the music is cool too. Check it out when you have time. It will make you smile.

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
12 Comments Post a Comment
  1. David Kirk says:

    Trey:
    Are you going to try this on the streets of Childress? Please post a YouTube if you do.

    I hope the church becomes known as a home for every heart, as someone once said.

  2. The Preacher's Household: says:

    Physical touch is so important. Good post and reminder.
    James

  3. Gwen says:

    Just remember in your hugging that some people dont want you in their private space (bubble) without inviting you.

  4. TREY MORGAN says:

    I’m a hugger … so it comes pretty easy to me. I think it’s easy most of the time to tell who’s comfortable hugging and who isn’t.

    The main point is what the hugging represents… encouragement. It doesn’t have to come by a hug, it can be a pat on the back, a smile or a kind word. The key is building one another up!

    Have you ever noticed how many times that it mentions in the NT that Jesus “touched” someone? There is power, healing and encouragement in touch!

  5. NB says:

    I liked the reaction of the man in the tank top who raises his hands up (almost in victory) as though he had actually won something! Notice everyone appeared happier after a hug.

    Thanks for sharing Trey! :)

  6. Diane Carr says:

    To refer back to your post a month ago on sexual misconduct – I think it interesting that real honest hugs are so close – yet so far from abuse.

    I think about it as a teacher. We have to be pretty careful and are quite vulnerable if a student reports us as touching inappropriately, yet how many of my students need a pat on the back and how many past students come running up with arms wide expecting a hug when they see me.

    I choose to be a little daring and give the hugs and pats.

    And like you said Trey, hugs are words too. I am thinking of two of my most challenged students in my third period class. We were taking end of the year tests this week and I noted that each of them made some type of special effort like underlining important words. I praised them both in front of the class and gave them a token prize for the day. They beamed.

    And then there was the kid on Friday who hit the table with his hand (not during the testing) and when I spoke to him, continued to do so. Very, very out of character for him. I squatted down and asked what was wrong. He didn’t say. It was obvious he was angry. I chose to do nothing and just let him hit the table for a while. Sometimes you just have to go with your “gut”.

    I still have no idea why he was doing that, though when I mentioned it to the principals during lunch and they knew something was going on but chose not to tell me. Sometimes that is frustrating although I understand the reasons.

    Interestingly he held back at the end of class and gave me a chance to just tell him I cared about him.

    I need hugs too whether they are the real kind or the verbal kind or just a cup of coffee sometimes. They don’t come very often though. Those I work for don’t seem to realize that we teachers need those hugs as well. Instead we only seem to hear comments when they are discouraging or corrective.

    Which leads me to my last thought. Hugs are powerful. They speak volumes and cause hearts to open and incite loyalty.

    It is sad that in today’s world something as simple as a hug can be so dangerous – but maybe anything worth having is also a risk.

    Diane Carr

  7. Anonymous says:

    I am a “hugger,” but in the church family, I always ask a man if he minds being hugged before doing it. This has come about because I am in a new location and do not know the people well. But I enjoy being hugged, and giving them, and agree that everyone needs hugs at different times. My husband subbed in public schools in NJ, and it was very difficult for him not to be able to give a pat on the back when he felt someone needed encouragement, but believed it was best not to do it in this day and age of pc and lawsuits. It is so sad that there are so many angry people in the world today who might really be helped with a hug and encouraging word, but who would rebuff us if we tried to do such. I am so grateful I have had such encouragement throughout my life. Jeanne M.

  8. TREY MORGAN says:

    Diane … Great, great point. Thanks for adding such a meaningful comment. Great wisdom.

    Jeanne … I love church huggers. I spoke in El Paso, Texas a while back and that Sunday morning after the sermon I had a spunky middle aged woman come up to me and say, “I’m the church hugger, you okay with me hugging your neck?” I said, “You bet!” Amen, Jeanne.

    Trey

  9. Tim Archer says:

    Gave you some mental hugs Saturday, as we stopped in Childress both coming and going. Visited the exquisite Shell/Subway both times. Each time I told my mom, “I’ve got a friend who lives here.”

    Hope you have a great week.

    Grace and peace,
    Tim

  10. TREY MORGAN says:

    Tim,

    Didn’t know you were coming right through Childress, although I did think of you too. One of these days we’ll have to catch up for a cup of coffee… :)

  11. Anonymous says:

    Trey, I love the piece about the Hugger… That’s what Moma was at our church, Keller Church of Christ, and now that she’s gone, I’m the Hugger. I just love it and feel so close to my church family, who are just my rock, especially since I lost my David. Thank you for the interesting and needed topics you speak on. Love to the family, Trish ( cousin)

  12. TREY MORGAN says:

    Trish … thanks for stopping by. Glad you are the hugger. I like huggers. Thanks for the thoughts. Wish we could see you more often.

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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