Whenever I change the church sign I always have to pass the Rachel test. She is always worried that I might be offending someone. My kids are just about on the opposite side of things wanting me to push the envelope a little. The idea behind this sign was just a whimsical musing to encourage those who only go to church on Christmas and Easter to maybe try it before the holiday.
I say that because my heart has always gone out to those who don’t have a church home. When I was on Young Life staff (reaching out to high school kids who don’t go to church) kids always asked me why church didn’t make sense to them. They would ask me why they felt like they didn’t belong in church. I was committed to having our church be one that makes sense and enables people to feel like they belong.
I try to go by the phrase #differentkindofpastor. I hope and pray that Faith Community Church is a different kind of church. Our goal is to be a church that is warm and welcoming. We want to teach, equip, and give people opportunities to love. We want to do all of that while not compromising the essential truths about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
A member of our church was visiting another church’s holiday display the other day. A woman there invited them to attend that church. When she explained that they had a church home she became more persistent. She told them that their church was closer, that their church was Presbyterian (why that’s a selling point I’m not sure…no offense), and kept encouraging them to leave our church.
I don’t get that. I worked with a Pastor who wanted to advertise on a local Christian radio station. He was so excited. I told him that I felt like it was a waste of money (I tried to be gentle). Ninety-nine percent of the listeners are already Christians. Ninety-nine percent of those already have churches that they call home. Why advertise to try to get someone to leave their church? Why try to have someone come to your church that would so quickly leave their church?
I don’t get that.
Rather, why not reach out to those who don’t go to church? I get one compliment more than any other. People say, “I’ve never been to a church where people were so welcoming and happy to see me.” Is our music good? Sure is. Is our building comfortable? Yes. Is the preaching good? I tend to think so. If nothing else it will make the bible come alive and be more interesting than you would imagine. Do we have stuff for kids? Yes. We have all of that but on top of that, we are a place where you can love and be loved. I just don’t know of too many people who have an abundance of folks who genuinely care about them and are happy to see them.
So to those of you who don’t have a church home I say this, “Give us a shot.” We are here to love and serve you. We are here to teach you how to love others. We are here to help you grow. We are here to help you understand God and the bible. We are here to lift up, support, encourage, and help you live (and get through) life.
If you have a church home, great! Stay there, make it a better place. If you don’t and have been thinking about it, give us a shot.