Thursday, May 2, 2019

everyone's welcome

Most church signs display words like this "everyone's welcome." We speak of God's unconditional love for all of humanity and hope that our congregation is somewhat of a reflection.

Churches for the past 50 years didn't really have to think about these two words, whether or not they were true. 50 years ago it was expected of most people that they would attend church. It was a cultural pressure whether you were welcome or not.

50 years ago preachers connected not going to church with going to hell...which made for a great incentive to go to church.

Yet the age we live in now is extremely different. 50 years ago non-religious people made up 5 percent of the population. And now, they make up more than protestants and Catholics.

There is a large portion of the population that no longer see the church as a place where they might experience God's love and find meaning in their life.

Newcomers are often greeted with suspicion rather than genuine hospitality. And God forbid they take someone's seat. 

For the church to begin to live this beautiful value of welcoming everyone we first have to think of what it might be like to walk into a place not knowing anyone. Essentially we have to think like an outsider.

There is no doubt in my view that the world still needs the church. More than ever. But if we fail to listen to the needs of our world... and instead continue to live the way we want... we will continue to see the decline in the church.