January 10 – Did You Show Up Late To The Party?

2:10 – Did You Show Up Late To The Party?

#faithbites #faithjourney party

I remember several years ago when a new song would come on the radio. I would call my brother in Los Angeles and tell him about this new song. He would say, that’s song has been out for months, it’s old. I was late to the party.

On Facebook yesterday, someone said they finally got around to reading “Ready, Player One”. Yup, he was late to the party.

There has been so many times that I’ve stumbled across a hobby or a fad or a story or something, and people have told me it’s old news. Yup, late to the party again.
Often, I felt I wasn’t in the cool club because I find it first or get all the inside jokes. Not fun.

Even though I wasn’t in the cool club and was late, I still found the object interesting and fun. I may need a little help understanding it and get into it, but nonetheless, it was fun.

Did you know for some people going to church can be like that?

Scripture
  • but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God,¬†and healed those who needed healing. – Luke 9:11
  • When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them. – Acts 15:4
  • Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. – Romans 15:7
Reflection

Some people were born in the church, raised in the church, and will die in the church. Others, like me, are very new to it and don’t understand all the ins and outs.

When I was in college, I dated a Catholic girl and went to mass with her on several occasions. During the Christmas Eve service, the priest was walking down the aisle, swinging something with smoke coming out of it. I had no idea what it was and the only thing that came out of my 20 something mind was “Is that the Holy Bong”. My girlfriend and her family laughed, everyone got a chuckle out if it. But for me, I had no idea what it symbolized, why we did it or anything.

Flash forward to me joining Christianity. There are still many activities that we do in worship that I don’t know why. How things operate, why they operate, and why we do what we do. I’m learning but they can be a barrier for people to come in and worship.

In the New Testament, we see the church welcoming people from outside. We see Jesus welcoming unbelievers and people who have just heard about him into his arms. There was no separation.

Imagine if we welcomed new people into our worship like that? If we gave them a guide and held their hands as they began their #faithjourney. Wouldn’t that make all of our churches more welcoming?

Charge

Today I’ll give you two choices for a charge. The first one is when you go to worship, if you see someone who is new or you don’t know, welcome them. Offer to sit with them and offer to explain to them what the service is and why things go the way they do. If you don’t know, ask an elder or a friend. They can help. The second choice is to invite someone new to service with you. Take away their fears and worries by explaining the order of the service, the line up and who’s who. It will really show them that you are welcoming as Christ was.

Prayer

Father God, help us to be more welcoming to all people. Give us the power to describe our worship services and help remove fear and trepidation from guests and new members. Help us to know who has questions even if they don’t ask. Let us remember that we were all new once and what that felt like. In your heavenly name, Amen.

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