Okay, so I just finished reading Jim and Caspar Go to Church, a simple little book co-written by a long-time pastor and a bonafide athiest who visit 18 churches together over two months and document their impressions for the rest of us. As a long-time, dyed-in-the-wool Christian (growing up as a missionary kid, going to Christian schools and a Christian college, becoming a pastor and a missionary…you get the idea…), I’m only just starting to understand how careful I need to be about the way I meet new people and the questions I ask –especially those God directs through the doors of our new campus in Warrenville. In the religious climate of our day in these United States, it really is miraculous–a mighty work of God–when He moves somebody to visit a church on a Sunday morning, don’t you think? And if it is so miraculous, how do I treat them? Do I even notice?
Anyway, back to the book…Caspar, the atheist, shared what it felt like to be greeted as a guest on a Sunday morning from one church to the next. He expected polite greetings by ushers and other official “church people” –but it was the rare and few occasions where an “unofficial” everyday church member took notice of him and picked up a conversation where Caspar felt truly welcomed.
A woman at Blanchard recently shared that she’s got a set of index cards documenting the new people she’s meeting at Warrenville as well noting something she can remember about them next time they talk. Then she refreshes her memory with the cards as she prepares for our Sunday gatherings. I call that holy work–considering the mighty work of God to send a guest to our campus on a Sunday morning and preparing herself to extend a welcome worthy of that divine appointment.
Something to think about…