Communication and Inclusion
What do people look for in a church beyond Biblical accuracy? Inclusion, communication, friendliness, service opportunities, and so much more. There’s a reason why people refer to it as a “church home” and “family” of believers.
How would you react if you felt un-welcomed in your own home and excluded from your family? You would likely want to move out, be “adopted” into a new family. You may want to completely cut off your previous family or remain friends with members you were closer to.
Why do people leave the church? Lack of inclusion and communication.
The number of people in the congregation is not near as important as the hearts of those in the congregation, but if people are leaving due to exclusion, it’s time to “check your heart.”
Church is fun. You get to worship the one who created you, spend time with friends and family, and get a glimpse of Heaven by being surrounded by believers. Well, church is fun… until it isn’t.
Church is fun until you’re sitting on the back pew alone. Church is fun until you get the side-eye instead of welcomed. Church is fun until it becomes a competition of who lead the most devotionals or the hardest song. It’s fun until the focus is more on the person beside you’s attractiveness than the worship. It’s fun until you’re spending more time worrying about the length of your dress than the message of the sermon. It’s fun until you’re on the outside looking in.` It’s fun until everyone makes plans to go out to eat and you’re going through a drive thru alone. Church is fun until it’s no longer church.
The minute you walk through those doors, you SHOULD feel at home, included, welcomed, appreciated, loved…. I could go on. The church is the bride of Christ and brides should be welcomed and appreciated within and outside of her house. We should treat our brothers and sisters like they are part of Christ’s bride instead of like they are competing with us to win his heart, like a bad season of The Bachelor.
Ephesians 5:25-27 (ESV) 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor,without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish
We often strive to win souls while on mission trips to other countries, but neglect to nurture souls both new and old that are already members. We get too caught up in adding a number to our “list of people we helped get saved” that we forget to check on our brothers and sisters who have strayed away. Perhaps we haven’t forgotten, though; perhaps we truly do not care.
Remember, you aren’t at worship for yourself.
You may be excited to wear your new dress, see your best friend, laugh at the kids’ jokes, or go eat Mexican afterward, but if these are your sole-motivators to get out of bed on Sunday morning, take a step back. Reevaluate your reasoning for walking through those doors, singing hymns, and partaking in worship. Reevaluate your membership in the body. Just because you’re a “hand” and like to hang out with other “hands, arms, etc.” doesn’t mean the feet aren’t important and deserve to be neglected or mistreated. Each member is essential to the functions of the body and should be treated as such.
1 Corinthians 12:12 ESV For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
Brothers and sisters, reach out to your friends who have been missing. Cultivate new friendships with the member you never speak to. You never know, they may become your best friend. Make a point to reach out to those outside of your friend group, but within the walls of Christ’s bride.
Look around the room and pay attention to who is missing. Now, think of the person as more than a number on the attendance sheet. Think about their gifts and how they can impact the kingdom. Think about the impact of the absence. You may not see it at first, but the impact is there. Even though you can’t feel the impact, someone else can. Whether it’s the child who looked-up to them, the other outcast struggling with their faith, or the elderly member who is elated when they see their face.
Absence is impactful. Community is essential. Communication is necessary.
The church isn’t a country club, and it shouldn’t feel like one.
You know what they say… “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck… It may be a duck.”
Click here for a good, relevant song.
In love, always,