My House Is Your House
When I write my “Reflections” I usually write about something I am reflecting on. Hence the name of the the post. Sometimes those reflections are on something that happened to me and some kind of spiritual/ethical/moral application that I reflect on. Sometimes, they are about an insight I received from something I read or heard. And sometimes, I don’t know why I am thinking about whatever it is I’m thinking about but its just that I have been thinking about it. And that is what I am going to write about. It is more a thought than a reflection. And it is not meant to be pointed at anyone so don’t get too mad at me. But….if the shoe fits…
So I was just thinking about why people find it so easy to be late for church. And not just our church. Every pastor I talk to seems to have the same challenge. There are a multitude of reasons why people come to church late, none of which I am going to write about. But I wonder if people would consider coming to church on time…or even better yet…early…if they viewed the church as their own home. If they thought along the lines of ownership rather than being a guest. I think a lot of people give the “ownership” over to the pastor, worship team, prayer and greeting team, kitchen and children’s ministry workers. And if they are not on any particular team or not serving that particular Sunday then they turn back into visitors and not owners. But it would be helpful to think through some questions:
Who opens the church doors?
Who turns on the lights?
Who makes sure that the church looks nice and is attractive to visitors?
Who straightens the chairs out?
Who puts on the air conditioning or heat?
Who makes sure the entrance is inviting and the information table up to date?
Who greets the visitor who sits alone in the sanctuary because nobody from the
church is there?
Who helps the pastor or youth leader with last minute printing or preparations?
Who checks the bathrooms to make sure they are clean and have all the proper
Who is just hanging out just in case somebody needs something or there is an
Who is responsible for making sure the front door is unlocked?
Who checks that the cafe’ area has the right number of chairs at each table?
Other than the Greeting Team members, who is greeting?
A short little “story” was written called “That’s Not My Job”
This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.
Imagine having guests come to your house. It is your house and people are coming to visit. Most of these people you know. They are friends and some relatives. There will also be some people you don’t know, people you have never met. They have been invited by other people as guests and you said it would be great to have them. Now, a few more questions:
Would you be there to greet them or come home 10 minutes late? Would you be rushing in the door with them or greeting them when they arrive? After a few of these “late arrivals” people may not want to come back to your house.
Would you make sure your house was clean and welcoming or just hope that somebody did it? After all, somebody must be doing it, right?
If there was garbage on your front walkway, would you pick it up or complain that nobody cares?
Would you take time to make sure everything was prepared for your guests or not even think about it?
Would you give your guests your attention and engage in conversation or let them sit there without talking to them?
What would it be like if everybody took ownership of Sunday mornings whether they were assigned to or not or on a team or not? If more people thought of the church building and the church service as their own, and that everyone else was a guest coming to their house, maybe they would reconsider what time and how they come to church on Sunday. You may not have the “gift of hospitality” but that doesn’t mean we can’t be hospitable. How can we best be hospitable on Sunday mornings?
What do you think? How does it make you feel?