Have you ever noticed that when we assemble in our buildings for our weekly gatherings of worship and spiritual instruction we have a tendency to migrate toward our friends and acquaintances? Now, if the place has a small number of worshippers, there will (hopefully) be an expression of acceptance to all involved; in fact, if a visitor enters the edifice, there will be an extension of welcome both physically and verbally. On the other hand, the larger the number of Believers gathered the better chance of being lost in the masses. So, when “seekers” are looking for a place of worship, they will seek out the assemblies where they can remain incognito. But, if they would be honest, the real reason for visiting the crowded gatherings is to save the embarrassment of being snubbed by the establishment in the medium size churches.
Have you ever noticed that, generally, Believers tend to migrate to their assigned pews/seats for their Sunday worship? As a result of prearranged seating, we have developed “comfort zones.” By surrounding ourselves with acquaintances, we will not feel challenged to expose ourselves to the unknown personages that are scattered around the sanctuary. Clicks have hindered the “seeking” from returning because they feel unwanted or unaccepted. When is the last time we saw a stranger on Sunday morning and went over to them and welcomed them to the assembly? When is the last time we showed them around the building? When is the last time we introduced them to others of the Body? When is the last time we invited them to our house for dinner? When is the last time we asked them if there was anything we could do for them? When is the last time we introduced them to the Pastor? When is the last time we invited them back, and even urged them to sit with us in our holy spot?
Have you ever noticed how so many “regulars” sit in the back during worship? This makes it all the harder for the visitor to find a seat without becoming the center of attention. To walk down the “red carpet” with the eyes of the faithful watching and ready to make an evaluation of them, takes a lot of courage for a newcomer..
Church, it is time to unclick. It is time to give up our pew/seat and invade other click areas. It is time to expand our comfort zones. It is time to see beyond our circle of friends. It is time to find the uncomfortable and make them comfortable. It is time to invite and incite the seeking to join with others who love the Lord. It is time for the Church to realize that they are not part of a movement, rather they are the movement. It is time for Believers to realize, not how inclusive we think we are, but how accepting we should be of others. It takes a lot for a visitor to enter a strange environment, but it should take little effort for the Believer to make a friendly environment.