Sermon Follow-up from Sunday, January 14th
Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. Mark 2:4
The determination of these men to get their friend to Jesus is undeniable. However, it is important to see what drove their determination. The group of men had faith that Jesus was the only one who could help their friend. When Jesus saw what lengths the men were willing to go he recognized their faith and forgave the man of his sins. I believe the reason the men were so determined was because they were convinced Jesus was the only hope for their friend. Do we believe that this morning? Do we believe it enough to do whatever it takes to remove barriers to get people to Jesus?
I want to challenge you this morning to consider the following about barriers as it relates to people coming to the gathering of a church in particular on Sunday Morning
1. Many facilities were built to meet a different context. Any church building that is over 20 years old has challenges meeting the needs of today’s church and context. Add 50 or more years to that building and you have a reality you need to deal with and that is your facility is probably hard to navigate. It is important to recognize what we take for granted in getting into our building and where to go.
2. Signs can never take the place of human interaction. When I worked at a grocery store in college, our store manager insisted that we never allow signs to take the place of human interaction. Never point people to isle 6 and hope they find what they are looking for, you take them there and help them find it. The same is true of our guest who come to the facility where our church meets. Make sure no one has to wander around, take them where they need to go. This provides a great opportunity to get to know that person or family as well.
3. Don’t assume people trust us with their children, show them why they can. The days of the assumed trust of the church are long gone. It is imperative we help our guest know what policies and procedures are in place to protect their children while they are in our care. It is also vital we live up to those procedures to earn the trust of parents.
4. The guest information card is not the only or best way to make someone feel welcome. It is helpful to get follow-up information from our guest. This is the way we give information about the church and answer questions. However, it is important for people to know they are not simply a name and address being added to an excel sheet. Take time to have real conversation with our guest and invite them to lunch. This is a great way to do what I call, “Making our welcome authentic.” It is a great opportunity to get to know someone new and maybe begin a relationship that will lead to a deeper or new relationship with Christ.