Churches have back doors.
It doesn’t matter how welcoming we are. It doesn’t matter how wide open we keep our front door to new people. It doesn’t matter how well we engage our community. If we don’t get people connected relationally and part of a small group, newcomers will almost always find the back door and leave.
Amy Whiteside noted this reality in her part of this past Sunday’s Laity Sermon. After giving an inspiring testimony of how much our church has meant to her family, Amy insisted that we never ever let someone leave through the back door of the church because they will indeed be missing out on great blessings.
Sunday afternoon was about the front door (or more precisely taking the front door into our community). We had our Fall Fling outreach event down by the river bridge. The atmosphere was festive. The Embrace Band blessed us with wonderful music. There was plenty of food, games, and people.
What I saw was truly a beautiful picture. Our church family was loving the wider community with absolutely no agenda. Jesus has freed us to do exactly this. Will someone ever make it from the river bridge event to our door one Sunday morning? Only God knows for sure. But I do know that our door is wide open to them.
Let’s make sure we close the back door. Do you know someone who is not connected to a smaller group like a Sunday School class, choir, or prayer group? Is that relationally unconnected person you?
When we fail to jump in with both feet and connect to other brothers and sisters in Christ, we miss blessing upon blessing in life. Thank you, Amy, for reminding us all of this great truth.
Stay connected to one another in love.