Sacred Agents

Sacred Agents

Bring Him Home

There are deep, strong, and many connections between evangelism and hospitality – far more than I can go into here. One of the most poignant images of the gospel is the embrace of the prodigal son by the Father. God’s deep longing for prodigals to be reconciled to Him means always looking out and always ready to welcome in.

If you want to come to my house you can probably find the front door and the doorbell, but the experience for you is vastly different if the light is on and my kids are peeping out the front windows eager for your arrival. In the same way, at my home church we feel we have some renovations to do. There are four doors at the front of our buildings, and none of them obviously presents as the entrance. If you really want to come, you can definitely figure it out, but it’s something short of hospitality.

But enough about buildings, what about the actual church? Does yours have a clear and warm point of entry? Do those without church experience get strong signals saying “Welcome! Start here”? Or do they get the feeling that this church is for regulars, not irregulars?

One church that welcomes well is Rostrevor Baptist. Banners all along their street frontage make quite clear that that church is geared up to help beginners, and the Alpha Course is the place to start. We can learn from them. Is there somewhere obvious on your church’s website where beginners can click? Is there a ministry clearly aimed at ushering people from curiosity to membership?

Many churches seem to have ministries that usher people from the Outer Hebrides to the Inner Hebrides (hostility to openness), but not ministries to welcome people ashore and settle them on the mainland. We move people from Pluto to Neptune and call it mission, but do we really want Martians here on Earth?

So our church is looking at a new entrance. But even more urgently, we’re looking at a weekly Sunday breakfast for enquirers where people can ask anything, begin just where they are, and discover all it means to belong in God’s family. Mission isn’t just running down the road, mission is bringing the prodigal home!

Written by andrewiturner

May 29, 2014

You may also like…

To Put it Bluntly

There’s an awful lot of talk out there, but how much of it makes a difference? With so many voices and messages in our lives every day, we have become masters of determining genre – as a way of coping with the on-rush and categorising all the information. What do I...

read more

Re-membering the Body

If we want people to see Christ, we should show them the body of Christ. Of all the ways that we manage to stuff up the mission God has given us, surely taking it on as an individual rather than team event is the most hapless. Our brightest witness, which is being a...

read more

Vision and Vocation

Some years ago I posted here about Vocational Discernment as a vital piece of intentional discipleship. This is the ongoing conversation focused on the question: What is God calling you to do? (And what steps are you taking?) Without a tailored conversation around...

read more

1 Comment

  1. Oh Andrew..so many mixed metaphors!! I’m not sure whether you should renovate the front door or install a “Transporter” a la Star Trek….whichever way you decide to “boldly go” you make an excellent point here : )

%d bloggers like this: