Every church has a “welcome” sign but not every church has a welcoming heart. Some congregations aim primarily to impress their guests. Others hope to include all the Nones who feel stigmatized or offended by other churches. There must be a few who just want to usher in some faceless zombies who will show up on Sundays, support the budget, and leave everything else to the insiders. What does the welcome sign at your church say?
I want a church that welcomes Jesus. If the Lord feels right at home in my church, a lot of other people will be drawn there irresistibly just to be with him. Of course, God is not attracted by the novelties of style and theatrics that get so much press today. The worship questions that matter most to Him- and ought to merit our attention as well– are how we love and whom we trust.
Based on the four gospels, I’d say the heart of a truly welcoming church must beat like this.
We love sinners and irreligious people more than we love our religious traditions- seriously
What you wear won’t distract us from the glory of God if who you are contributes to our worship of the King.
We debate the Bible by living it with daring and compassion. When we consistently embody the Word, it’s true meaning and power become apparent.
Our sins are so big that we can’t look past them to see your mistakes and insecurities.
We will go boldly to take the gospel to the streets, and care for human beings; we will also give money
The business of this church is mission & ministry, not budgets & bylaws. If those lesser things distract us from the main thing, we’ll gladly delegate them to someone else, so we can fulfill our mission.
Our leaders are servants, not superstars. If they will help us make Jesus more famous we will follow them to the ends of the earth.
I could give my life for that church with that kind of heartbeat! I suspect that’s the new church many are waiting to discover. But let’s not wait for somebody to give us that kind of church. Let’s forget about ourselves and give Jesus that kind of church right here, right now.
And lift up the Cross!