Tall Enough for this Ride?
Steve Furtick of Elevation Church said that too many of our churches have “signs” similar to Disney World or Six Flags.
Here is what he says...
While we do not have “visible” signage that is similar, too often our non-verbal, non-visible and subliminal “signs” are just as poignant as a physical sign. Do you know what signs I am talking about? That’s right….the dreaded “You Must Be This Tall To Ride This Ride” sign.
"We don’t think we are this obvious…but hang around certain “church people” long enough and you will be able to read the signs clearly. Here are some of the signs that I have seen and continue to see (unfortunately):
You must be this HOLY. You must dress this wayYou must read this kind of the Bible. You must attend Sunday AM, PM, and Wednesday night service. You must be baptized this way. You can not eat this kind of food. You can not drink this kind of beverage. You must belong to this denomination.
I realize that I am treading on thin ice here…but…do we really think that is how Christ would have been? Did Christ have a set of rules in order to “ride the ride”? Is this how we approach foreign missions? I think not. Generally speaking, our foreign mission efforts address the physical and felt needs of those we are trying to reach before we present the gospel….we live it out first….then speak it. And yet, in our “Country Club” minded North American churches, we like to set rules of “admission” for everyone. We want everyone to be “like us” before they can be a part of us. Why do we do this backwards here at home vs. when we are in a foreign land and culture? Where is the “come as you are”? I just don’t get it.
Lets be clear, I am NOT trying to disparage doctrine or theology or convictions or our understanding of the Scripture. Those are all incredibly important as we mature in our relationship with Christ…but…I want to challenge us on our accepting of those that may not know Christ or are looking to find a fellowship of believers to be connected.
What “signs” are you posting in your church? Do they make guests feel welcome or shunned? Do they let God shine through or throw up barriers in the path of people looking for a new life direction…a purpose…a relationship in Christ? Would your signs be welcoming to the Samaritan women at the well?"
Pastor Steve's words are compelling! This is why at Life Church, we have worked hard to develop an atmosphere that says, "come as you are." Our motto, "Life Church: Real, Relevant, Relational" begins with "real" because we want everyone to feel loved and accepted, no matter their background, clothes, hairstyle or place in their faith journey! Isn't that the way it should be?
Posted on Tue, June 7, 2011
by John Daniels