The morning of Christmas Eve, I was on my own in the car driving back from one of the many errands that I had to do. I drove past a church that I have actually been in a long time ago. It is small church on the corner of two very busy roads nearby. The church building itself doesn’t look to have changed much over the years. From the exterior, all looks the same.
I happened to glance over and notice that under the main sign of the church, there was a smaller sign that had obviously been created later and was hanging underneath. It simply stated:
Available for Weddings
As I said, I was in a rush from one place to another. The rush that I didn’t want to be in at Christmas time was upon me. All of the sudden I started to really ponder the simple three words that are in that sign. It began to make me sad.
At the next light, I sent a tweet:
I had a few questions from followers regarding…why?
The answer is somewhere in this:
First off, I took it negative… Why would this church need to advertise the fact that they are available for weddings… Must not be much going on inside if the need to advertise their building and facility has higher priority over some sort of description about their services, programs, people…
Almost immediately, and I kid you not, I felt as if God spoke to me “Andy, that’s what Church is about.”
This was when I got sad. I started to think about how many churches have it all wrong. We’re more worried about the insiders vs the outsiders. We’re competitive with other churches in the same area as we. We actually think that if we have a certain program or ministry, maybe we’ll get some folks from other churches to join us. We’re concerned about finances, numbers, programs, staff, worship style, creative direction… Ugh. Where’s the concern for the lost.
Weddings are meant to be parties. Their Celebrations. We don’t celebrate enough.
We “insiders” are already at the wedding feast. We’ve already received the invitations and even while we’re here on earth, we’re the bride of Christ. Instead of celebration we often create environments that are uninviting. We put all sorts of hurdles and obstacles in front of those who need to meet the Groom.
Does that make sense? I’m still developing my thoughts around this, which I am sure are influenced by many factors. I try to make sure that everything that I believe is Biblical and keeping with how God speaks to me and others who are also seeking his direction.