Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Becoming Doormen, not gatekeepers...
Last Sunday after our worship service, a good friend nervously confessed something to me, "Man, I hate to admit it, but I've never been on our church's website." He looked concerned, like he might have just hurt my feelings. He looked very relaxed and reassured when I smiled and said, "That's totally fine, really, don't worry about it, the website isn't for you anyway." We both smiled and laughed, and I explained that our church's website is 110% designed for people to safely check out New Song - it's not tailored for the people who are already there. To illustrate what I meant, I got out my phone and shared this tab from our website as a good example of what our website is really for:
Thankfully, my friend is on the same page as me; we both have a heart for people who haven't found their way to God or who haven't found their way back to God. We laughed at how the link I shared with him could be offensive to "religious" people! We talked at some length on how inward focused churches can become, but how healthy it is to be inclusive and reach people with healthy relationships, not a country-club religion.
This whole conversation we had Sunday was so good. It was encouraging to me to talk openly with someone who values the same principle, namely that we exist as a church not to perpetuate our way or style of doing church, but we exist to make a space for people to see Jesus clearly. We shared the common vision of New Song in that conversation, existing to open a door for people to experience a healthy relationship with God, not to conform to a mold.
When churches see they don't exist for themselves, maybe then they can lose their defensiveness and get on with our calling.
"And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:15-17 ESV)