Sorry if I have been a little negative lately. I have ben struggling a lot with this dillema, wonderfully illustrated by Jon at ASBOJesus.
When we look at our missiology there is often a major stumbling block in that we expect people to come to church as their first step. For many people taking that first step into church isn’t going to happen because of their perception of who/what the church is. As I have said in a few previous posts, there is a perception of the type of person who goes to church as being posh, dressed in ‘Sunday best’ and complete with ‘holier than thou attitude’. From the outside the church can be perceived as a very judgemental place to go. This was certainly my experience as a teenager. It is certainly the experience of the people I talk to on the streets
I had a recent conversation where we discussed how wonderfully welcoming our congregation was. They accept anyone on face value with a smile and a genuine offer of friendship. As I talked about the perception of people outside of ‘the church’ and relayed a conversation I had had earlier in the week I was told “but we aren’t like that here”.
“But no one outside is ever going to find out unless we start looking at being church outside of this building”.