Let's take a look at the rest of life. TV Shows and movies. Have they changed? The movies now rated PG would have been rated R back even 25 years ago! Commercials are getting more inappropriate for families to view. Liberal thinking is all over the media and ingrained in our society. We have become a consumer-driven world and expect one-stop-shops, everyone to cater to us and our needs, and to be entertained at everything we do. No one just does something because it's what they are "suppose to do" anymore. Everyone has an opinion and makes it heard. Whatever is comfortable and easy for us, we do, and if it's going to be too much effort or pain, we avoid it. 3 years ago I attended a wedding where someone came in blue jeans and a baseball cap. Does anyone remember a day when suits and ties were worn to weddings and funerals?
So the question that we need to ask is, what is the purpose of church? Why do we exist as a church? Is it to gather together as a fellowship of believers and go through the motions of what church used to be, see some good friends, dress up a little, and then go out for a yummy lunch afterward? I don't think that the souls of this generation can afford for us to make that our purpose. We have to reach those people. We have to somehow reach those un-churched, un-saved people. The people that don't live for a higher calling, they are constantly searching for the next "thing" to love, the next "thing" to do, the next "thing" to entertain them, the next "person" to become. They are the ones fully saturated in this world and the things of it, completely unaware of the hearts and souls of them and those around them. Just living day to day, trying to figure out this thing called life. How do you reach THOSE people. Church should not exist for the believers alone. I'm not saying church is not important for believers, it is VITAL, God loves the church, He has called the church to rise up and spread His word, He has shown us the importance of communing with other believers and worshipping Him in His presence in that place. But I'm convinced that a Sunday morning worship service should not be about the believers. We need to view the church as our "home" and remember those that we are inviting into it.
When you invite someone to your home, what do you do? Sure you clean it, but there's more. You prepare your home for them, you become hospitable. When I have house guests over, I greet them at the door with a big smile and hug, I put a playlist on my iPod that I know they would enjoy to have playing in the background, I buy a magazine and treat and put it on their guest bed where they will be sleeping, I put shampoo and bodywash in the shower so they don't have to use those stupid little travel-sized ones, I light wonderful smelling candles, I cook yummy desserts that I know they would enjoy, I buy cereal that I know is their favorite and have it for them for breakfast, I buy more coffee because coffee is "home". Why do I do that? Because I love them, I want them to feel welcome, I want them to stay as long as they would like, I want them to come back, I want them to feel LOVE in my "home".
Why can't we view church that way? Why don't we greet visitors at the door, opening it for them and greeting them with a big smile and warm welcome? Why don't we talk to them once they are in our "home" and make them feel welcome and loved? Why don't we have progressive and contemporary worship music that they can get into and really enjoy?(afterall, they've just been listening to something on their radio in their car, and if they aren't a Christian, I guarantee you it wasn't the classic Christian Hymn station!). Why don't we wear blue jeans so they don't feel underdressed? Why don't we have a gift for them so they feel welcomed and have information in it incase they have questions that they don't want to ask? Why don't we have a coffee bar to make it feel like "home"? Why don't we have a relevant message that is engaging, exciting, challenging and pushes them to see the love of God? Why are we afraid of scaring people off by reading the bible and stating the true facts? Why don't we give these visitors a chance each and every Sunday to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior? They might never get to hear the gospel again. That is where they will truly find "home". It's true, some people will never understand true grace and accept the word of God. But it is our responsibility to present them with an environment that welcomes them, makes them feel comfortable and lets them hear about it and want to come back. I firmly believe that if we do our part, God will do the rest!
Let's make church "home". Not only to us and our fellow believers but most importantly to THE LOST!