Friday, February 12, 2010

And the second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Matthew 22:39

You just entered a room. There is laughter. People enjoying conversation. People seeing friends for the first time in a while. People meeting people. You take a seat by yourself and immediately someone comes up to you and starts talking to you. You exchange names and begin light conversation. More people begin joining in on the conversation and before you know it, you are exchanging phone numbers and saying your goodbyes. This seems like a perfect setting. A few days later you walk into another building. There is much commotion going on. You hear people talking and laughing. You notice a few smiling faces. You pass a few people who give a polite nod and hello. You take a seat by yourself and an elderly gentleman says hello. He happens to be sitting near you. A little later you get up and leave. No one says bye, no phone numbers exchanged, nothing... just silence as you leave. Sadly enough, I have just compared a church and a bar. The first one is a bar. The second one is a Church. This is what I experience everytime I enter these two establishments. From what I understand, God asks us to love our neighbors as ourselves. My thought is this- everytime we ignore that unknown person in church, is it loving them as ourselves? How do we want to be treated when we walk into church... like we are an outcast or the guest of honor?

1 comment:

  1. I think part of the problem is that so often in the church we haven't figured out how to approach new people without the, "Did you have a good time today? Do you have a church home? Do you want to make this your church home and come here every week?" When I go to a bar, I'll probably be a little more outgoing myself because I know that the patrons of the bar don't really have an agenda. They don't need me to believe a certain thing or commit to coming to this bar every Friday night or to start working there on every 3rd Wednesday. But if I go to a church, I know that if I reach out, I'm probably going to be obligated to something pretty quickly.

    Ultimately, I think it's kind of a two-way street. Those of us in the church need to be more friendly without pressure, and those of us visiting the church need to avoid putting out the "don't talk to me because I don't want to be boxed in" vibe so much.