How many of you have tried to learn something new recently?
It’s not easy, let me tell you. My computer exploded as you know. It’s officially gone. And now I’m working with something new. I had to replace it so I chose an iPad thinking that it would be functional, portable and I could be a little more environmentally responsible in terms of printing for Sunday. I don’t really have a need for a large operating system. It seemed like the best solution.
It’s not bad but there is a huge adjustment that needs to happen in how I do things. Typing on a touch screen is slowing me down. Learning how to format and add pictures has been interesting. It’s unique and different and while I like it it is going to take time to get used to.
This has really got me thinking. How hard is it for people to enter a new church? Do we make it easy for people? How do they learn how things work? Where do they find instruction and guidance in the faith? Is it enticing enough to want to learn?
As I’ve travelled from church to church as a guest I’ve discovered that not everyone is open. Don’t get me wrong, everyone is wonderfully nice. I’ve just discovered that some groups are close nit and don’t always remember to educate the visitors on how things are done. I have felt out of sorts and confused because people forget to explain the hidden rules to me. I wonder if I feel this way as Clergy, how must visitors feel? I’ve also experienced the exact opposite. People who share and offer help. People who know how to welcome new people and make an effort to keep things warm and open.
I think this is something we need to think about as a church. We always say we want new people but are we set up to accept them? Do we make the effort to become a place the makes people comfortable and offers something for them?
If we are going to grow and become the church we need to be this has to be a priority. We need to find a way to teach and educate in a relevant way. We have to find ways to be open and engaging. We have to become the people Jesus calls us to be.
How can we change?
How can we become a welcoming community?
Where do we go next?