There has been an unwanted family that keeps visiting my church the past two Sundays. The reason they are not wanted at our church is because of several things… they are loud, messy, and, to be honest, they are really just outright annoying. When we open the door of the church there they are, waiting in the hope that someone will let them into the building. Our door greeters also have been trying their best to chase them away but despite repeated efforts the unwanted family still keeps coming back again and again.
I was working at the church the other day when suddenly I heard someone knocking at the unlocked door. “Why would someone be knocking on an unlocked door?” I wondered. The doors are glass so usually I can see who’s at the door from my office but for some strange reason, I couldn’t see anyone that day.
I walked over to the door to see who it was and surprise! surprise! there stood the unwanted visitors from the past Sunday looking through the glass at me!
I have to say this bunch is quite persistent! Later that morning our youth pastor came in and I heard him shooing them away. But when I left to go home there they were again right back to waiting by the front door!
This whole Guinea fowl thing has had me wondering why no matter how much we try to chase them away they still keep coming back?
Would I keep coming back if someone chased me away?
Like I said before these Guineas are messy…just a tiny bit like some of us people can be. Sometimes church people tend to treat people in the same way the Guineas were treated.. shooed away because they are messy. When I say messy I am not talking about messy as in the mess those Guineas were leaving behind on our porch (just use your imagination). What I’m talking about is the kind of messy as in a messed up messy life kind of person.
I remember the first time I slipped into the back row of my church, my life was a mess at the time and I wasn’t sure if God would want someone who was as messed up as me to be in His church. Even more so I worried that the people who attended the church wouldn’t want me there either.
I am so thankful that the church God chose for me didn’t care how messy of a mess I was; they also didn’t care about what I wore or any of the other messy stuff I brought in the door with me. What they did care about was me… They cared about me for who I was at that time of my life. They allowed me to come into the church on my own terms and just loved me, letting God take care of all the messy stuff.
I have been a member of that same church for almost 6 years now, and I can still be pretty messed up at times, but they still allow me in and the crazy thing is after a while they even hired me as an employee.
What would have happened had those people not wanted me to come in because I didn’t look or act like they thought I should? What would have happened had they made me feel like I was too messed up to be there? Would I have came back to church?
I was lost at that time of my life and because of the people in my church showing me the love of Jesus I stayed in church and I’m not lost anymore.
All of this along with my pastor’s sermon this past Sunday (Kangaroo Court) got me to wondering – how do I look to people who are outside of the church doors?
Do I behave in a way that says to people, “I’d love to share with you what was shared with me,” or do I say, “I don’t want you in my church because you’re too messed up?”
How do we as a church act? Do we chase people off before they even get in the door like we did with the Guineas?
Jesus didn’t come for the people who have it all together. He didn’t come for perfect people (nobody’s perfect by the way).
I may offend some when I say this but I am gonna say it anyway…”I think we are all messed up in some way or other, some of us are just way better at hiding it than others.”
Jesus came for all of us. He came for people like me and you and those who are still outside our church doors. Those people who are outside the doors of our churches are now the responsibility of those of us who do know Jesus, it’s our job to invite them in.
So… with that said…who do you know who might be knocking at the door but may be feeling too messy to come in? This weekend let’s invite at least one person to come to church with us this Sunday. Maybe they won’t take us up on the invitation, but just imagine what could happen if they did.
Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the nations!
His wonders among all peoples. Psalm 96:1-3
Before you leave here today be sure to check out these links. Each one of them inspired me in some way and I hope they do the same for you.
A great song – Call it Grace by Unspoken
A precious Photo along with a great quote – Globetrotting from Lightroom Blog
A really good podcast – Walking Through Lifes Open Doors from Focus on the Family
A story you for sure don’t want to miss reading – I want to Be a FireFighter from Compassion Blog
Have a great weekend,