The Visitor

One thing we work very hard on at Vale is finding ways to make our visitors feel safe, welcome and cared for. We want them to KNOW they belong. We want them to KNOW they matter to us…and to God. It’s a joy to be in a church that gets this concept, but that hasn’t always been the case.

“Hey, I just thought you should be aware of what so and so in wearing…I don’t think it’s appropriate.”

“I can’t sit there…I don’t know those people.”

“Oh…they don’t quite fit in now do they?”

“I know that guy…he’s a raging alcoholic!”

Believe me…I’ve heard all of these things and more regarding visitors, and it quite honestly frustrates me to the point of screaming. Sometimes I wonder if we have become so cozy in our complicated, comfortable “churchiness” that we find the thought of someone different walking through the door almost offensive.

Is it possible that we have allowed the way we “do church” to over complicate the simplicity of embracing people? 

Have we allowed our way of doing things to dictate what everyone else should be doing?

I think the answer is yes. I think we’ve come to expect Christ likeness to flow out of everyone who walks through the door…whether they know Jesus or not.

“Fix your life…then come to church.” That doesn’t even come close to making sense!

The message of Jesus was simple. It’s the church that’s made it so complicated. We MUST quit over complicating things. Each visitor is loved by God…period. And they should also be loved by us.

It’s just that simple.

 

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