People don’t typically actually ask this question. Though, I’m sure many have thought it. However, this question came into our inbox on a Saturday evening. This young man added that he doesn’t believe everything that Christians believe. He thinks the church has done more harm than good. He doesn’t live the Christian lifestyle.
So the question remained: Would he be welcome at our church? We connected with him and told him, “Yes.” But words are so much easier than actions. He came to our group, talked freely, and the group welcomed him with open arms. Afterward, we texted him to ask him what he thought. He loved it! His only criticism was to give out the verses ahead of time so people could look it up beforehand.
It reminded me of Matthew 9:10-12: “While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ On hearing this, Jesus said, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.’”
Here are a few things we’ve learned:
God doesn’t always use the most conventional methods. We met another person through the popping of an animal balloon at the farmer’s market. He saw it as a sign to come over to our table to grab a flyer. Isn’t it interesting how people who are seemingly avoiding God still see signs from him?
Church planting forces us to get creative. Being at the farmer’s market, with those animal balloons again, opened the door to people who wouldn’t usually give the church a shot.
Words need to be met with action. You can’t just say you’re a welcoming church. You have to prove it.