Church of the Open Door

In the past few days, our church parking lot was resurfaced and striped.

What’s The Problem?

The problem was that the driveways were barricaded to keep cars off the property. The staff parked in the back on the overflow lot. But we were open for business.

barricaded-parking-lot-wide-view
Not Our Church Driveway: But Close

How Did People Feel?

Some people didn’t care for it, and said so. Some of their reasons:

  1. We couldn’t pull in since the driveways were blocked.
  2. We had to park too far away; it was too far to walk.
  3. You shouldn’t have work scheduled when our group has an event.
  4. We should have been called about this. (450 family units)
  5. We don’t like it.

Okay. I get it. It was inconvenient, awkward, and different; three things nobody likes. But the amount of complaining, grumbling, and criticizing was, in my opinion, disproportionate to the event.

The work had been planned for weeks; twice it was postponed due to the threat of rain. The work required three days with no threat of rain and in Houston, that can be tough to get. But it finally happened this week.

The larger challenge came last night. We had 200 people coming in for the Wednesday, mid-week service. They all had to find the one driveway that was partially open, and park on the side lot and the dirt lot. But they figured it out, they made it in, and all was well.

Some Thoughts

I wondered about the symbolic nature of this week. Are there churches that metaphorically close their doors, block their driveways, and have no obvious way in? If people manage to get inside, what do they find and how are they received?

Are They

  1. Frustrated trying to fit in with the people?
  2. Discouraged by the level of disinterest from members?
  3. Struggling to break through the barriers?
  4. Discouraged by the grumbling, complaining, and criticizing?
  5. Deciding to leave and not come back?

Do you know any churches like that?

In Closing

Those responsible for the environment within our churches should make sure our doors are wide, our hearts are open, and our spirit is willing and receptive to others, especially to those seeking Christ. 

Jesus would want us to, don’t you think? After all, he kept an open door for us.

empty_tomb_wide

Shalom

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