The website of this large church boasts that we’ll find “a warm and friendly group of people.” If you must claim you’re friendly, you might not be; they might be not welcoming.
Experience tells me they may try but will fall short.
Consider these seven discussion questions about Church 58.
1. Always anxious before visiting a church, my gut churns even more. A sharp pain jolts me. My heart thumps. I later learn I had an anxiety attack.
How can we best help people who struggle to enter a church building?
2. Inside, preoccupied people mill about. We walk slowly, giving someone time to approach us. No one does. And we see no one for us to approach.
How can we be more aware of people longing for interaction?
3. When the countdown timer reaches zero the worship team begins to lead us in song. Most of the people, however, aren’t ready to worship. They aren’t even sitting down.
How can we better prepare ourselves to worship God?
4. As I settle into the chorus of an unfamiliar tune, a reunion between two people hijacks my focus. Their loud conversation distracts me well into the third song.
How can we balance a desire for community with the goal of worship?
5. We end up with about three hundred people, half of whom wander in several minutes after the service starts.
How can we make sure we arrive on time and not distract others from experiencing God?
6. The minister leads us in Communion. “Everyone is invited to the table to encounter Jesus in their own way.” This is most inclusive.
How can we better include people and help them encounter Jesus?
7. The insightful message was worth the hour-and-forty-five-minute service, but the rest disappointed me. I didn’t worship God today or experience community. I walk out feeling lonely. This church was not welcoming at all.
What can we do to make sure people don’t leave church disappointed or ignored?
If you feel it’s time to move from the sidelines and get into the game, The More Than 52 Churches Workbook provides the plan to get you there.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.