Greetings in Christ!
I recently read an article with the eye-catching title, “We Will No Longer Be a Welcoming Church.” You might think the author, Rob Moss, is just kidding. He’s not. You see, Welcoming Churches do a lot of stuff in the church building in the hopes that, when new people attend, they’ll feel welcome. There’s nothing wrong with that, but here’s the kicker: welcoming churches stop there.
Rather, Moss instead sets for a path of becoming an Inviting Church. These communities work not only on creating a hospitable space or an accessible worship opportunity or friendly parishioners, but on inviting people to participate in that kind of life together. Inviting Churches intentionally leave the building in order to carry the Gospel to people who might not otherwise enter the sanctuary. To become an Inviting Church means an intentional shift toward active evangelism, active sharing of the Gospel, and active sharing of the gifts God’s given to us.
Recently, we had three new worshippers attend CLC. All of them were invited, the first by a member, and the other two through that first person. While they were here, I think they found a welcoming place and hospitable people, but they got here in the first place because of an invitation. That’s exciting! Invitations like this help us connect with people that our congregation may bless, and people that may bless our congregation by their presence.
So, this Sunday, we’ll once again hand out witness cards as an opportunity to become an even more inviting church. In the spirit of Pentecost, we’ll pray for God to transform us, to change our languages so that we might speak the Gospel to new people, and to widen the community of the church everywhere, as well as in this very place.
If you would like to read more about the article I referenced it can be found here: https://daelcarev.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/we-will-no-longer-be-a-welcoming-church/
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