What does being a Church Guest look like?
Many people visit churches everyday or week and the situation might be different each time. They might of been invited, moved into the area, or God calling someone to just check it out to find some answers. The thing is what is our response as believers when these people walk in? What does it look like if we became a church guest? What are our expectations? This starts some of my criticism of the church visit.
The story starts with a 26 year old male who is looking for girls who share the faith. He is a leader that is tired of what his young adults group does all the time they do the following: talk huge spiritual game in church on Sundays, fails to go out and invite friends
to show up Sunday, are comfortable only praying at official church prayer meetings, or even having difficulties to say hi to a new person walking into church.
The church guest honestly looks like a bit of a jaded believer at this point. There has to be some girls that might be in surrounding churches. A scan of church in the area he finds a Bible Study that meets at 7, for young adults 20-30. This would be a great place to potentially get an excited young adults group, and hey, maybe even meet some girls?
The night comes and he shows up a bit early to meet the pastor who is setting up a grill. Some small talk happens and more people start showing up to “fellowship night, no lesson tonight”. A couple people introduce themselves and get the church guest’s name. As people show up the guy realizes that many people in this group are married, out of the age range of the group, or church staff.
The church guest enjoys the food prepared for this night of fellowship but after the food is ready, the church guest then sits alone for 15 minutes. The regular members of the bible study are running around doing some kind of project for the church… who knows? The church guest is tired of this wait, even contemplates leaving, but as a person who understands leadership decides takes some initiative. The church guest reaches for a game of Munchkins and sets it up. The person wins the game that night but leaves wondering a couple questions. Why is no one interested in talking to this church guest or finding what he is about?Did they know I was a believer? Why did he come here? Where are the girls at?
This church guest is frustrated about being a leader sitting back and watching this night unfold. He is conflicted about how to love the church well when the groups he visit do not “go and make disciples” or even try to show love towards people when such things are called for by our Lord Jesus.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” -John 13:35
The church guest decides that it is difficult for people to be Christian. The ability to have great hospitality in all regards (welcome, food, inquiry, goodbyes) is sometimes foreign to many and against flesh for the most part. A second chance might help turn his mindset around? We will see.
Offering unspoken Second Chances?
The person gives the bible study another chance. It was an off week maybe? The church guest returns and nobody remembers his name. They are teaching topically on Phileo love yet side tracks to Agape love. The group started in 1 Samuel 18 about David and Jonathan’s unique relationship. This is exciting since its a perfect imagery of what is Phileo type love should look like. They say things like how people need to “walk the talk” loving enemies, and other christian values. They talk well but where knowledge puffs up.They move to talking about how Jesus wants that kind of love towards him. The conversation sidetracks to how difficult it is to love your enemies.
Now I have lost heart…
The fear of loving their enemies blindsided the church guest. The church quest gives his little bit of insight about the phileo kind of love: Jesus still poured out on disciples, even knowing one would betray him. To be honest the Church guest wanted to say something that should shake them to their core, to move them to working out their faith with fear and trembling. The church guest is someone that came to visit and see what the church had to offer. If your group can not even welcome and pursue a new church quest then you will definitely not be able to show love anywhere. The session ends shortly after and the visitor decides he won’t come back.
Does it move you?
I understand that I am being pretty critical of fellow believers in this. I even admit that I feel conflicted to go to a church group to purposely meet girls but end up with a critique of the group. The thing is I went to another building to experience exactly what was already happening in the building I attended Sunday. Our Church is united on some purpose but I hope it changes to be more passionate like seen in…
So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers – Acts 16:5
Personally I’d like to try harder and harder to bridge and stop these frustrations in my own power but have to rely on the church doing their part as well. This church guest concept I think is something we should be ready for and drive to not fail. THIS IS HAPPENING EVERYDAY IN ALL OF OUR CHURCHES…What are we doing about it?