I confess I am always on the lookout for a new technique or method for attracting people to our church. It is, admittedly, a fault of mine; a knee-jerk reaction to my own inadequacies. In that spirit I found myself listening to a podcast this afternoon about a “church secret shopper” who diagnoses how well your church is or is not doing in greeting, worship, children’s, etc. A report is then churned out detailing all the things to do in order to make your church as attractive and polished as possible for guests. As I listened, I, at once, began to consider all of the suggestions the well-intentioned speaker gave. I suddenly felt overwhelmed and woefully inadequate. I turned it off in frustration and sat in silence.
It then dawned on me that church is not meant to be a well oiled ministry machine, churning out perfect worship services and gourmet coffee to visitors in the hopes they come back. The church is not meant to be a mall or a Walmart or a religious Disneyland. We are meant to be a place of communion, a place of God’s presence, a refuge for the weary and a place of rest for the sojourner. Let’s do that first. Let our church be a refuge for the lost and a safe haven for the burnt out. We may not have gourmet coffee but we have open arms.
So I am going to put away the “50 things to make your church great again” podcast, put down the “if you do these things…” book and give thanks to God for the beautifully unique church I am privileged to pastor. I am going to thank the LORD for the opportunity to worship, preach and eat together at the communion table with my fellow grace-changed travelers.
Doors open at 10:30 on Sundays. Come have some generic coffee and donuts and let’s enjoy the presence of God together.