Friday, February 22, 2013
Building People of Substance for Works of Power
Love those new folks, Friend.
A few weeks ago our microwave broke down. In our busy life, this is a crisis of some magnitude, so I went to work. I ran through reviews online to find some brands that were well-recommended. I then found the addresses of local stores that handle those brands. Judy and I trekked off to the mall to start the next phase of our hunt. After a 20 minute drive we circled to find a parking place. We parked and walked the considerable distance to the store. After a few moments of disorientation, we stumbled on to the right department. In the main aisle were four men dressed in matching shirts emblazoned with the company logo and announcing their positions as sales personnel. They were busily involved in standing cross-armed, laughing and talking with each other. Proceeding past them, we found the microwave aisle about 20 feet away. We looked over the selection, moving slowly around and around the display. On each lap we passed by the gaggle of salesmen. After several minutes of circling, we located the model of interest on the top shelf. I wanted to inspect the machine, but it was boxed up. I looked back at the gathering of helpful staff. One of them nodded in acknowledgment, and then went back to chatting. We left. They may have had the best price on the best machine that would have perfectly met our need. I will never know. We bought another brand from another store.
I couldn’t help but wonder how often similar things happen to church searchers. Every Sunday someone somewhere feels a Spirit-prompted need to touch God in some way. They do research online, or by phone with friends, or maybe just by remembering an attractive sign they saw on the way to work. They get up, get dressed and pile in the car to drive to church. They navigate the parking lot and make it to the holy sanctuary. God help us if they find an unfamiliar room peopled by small groups of intensely interacting saints oblivious to their need for information and direction. For us church folk, it is perfectly natural to want to catch up with our church family. It is normal to feel comfortable talking to people we know. I personally believe, however, that it is well nigh unforgivable to allow these things to prevent us from welcoming and serving those who God has drawn to us for the first time. The new person is the most important person in the room. They may not know it, but they have an appointment with God. We are there to help them fulfill it. We have a remarkable, indeed priceless, product. Our job is to make it as simple as possible for folks to access it.
Somebody Said: It’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you use that makes a difference. Zig Ziglar
Scripture Reading So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it! (Romans 15:7 MSG)
People are precious, but often fragile. Handle with grace. We are the open arms of Jesus. Let us embrace.