#5: Quit Saying You Welcome Everyone When You Don’t

#5: Quit Saying You Welcome Everyone When You Don’t

April 21, 2016 by

That's How We've Always Done It: Is Your Church Ready to Quit? 166 Ways to Be a QuitterOur churches are too busy doing what we’ve always done. Or we’re doing what’s good instead of what’s great. It’s time to quit. We wrote a book about it: Is Your Church Ready to Quit? 166 Ways to Be a Quitter. You can get a free preview, buy it now or enjoy this sample:

#5: Quit saying you welcome everyone when you don’t.

In too many of our churches, we’re fooling ourselves into thinking we are welcoming when we really aren’t. And, quite frankly, people are tired of the hypocrisy. When the pastor preaches love but the congregation offers a cold shoulder to “unacceptable” sinners, you’re not getting the message.

“Lots of people pray for God to send new people to their church. Few accept the folks God actually sends.” –Heath Mullikin

OK, the church is full of people, so it’s always going to be full of hypocrites. We’re always going to be broken and fail at welcoming people. But we need to stop telling ourselves we’re good at welcoming folks when we really do the opposite. Somehow we need to be reminded that Jesus welcomed a sinner like me, and do likewise. How can we take an honest look at how our church welcomes people?

You can get more straight-up honesty like that when you buy the whole book: Is Your Church Ready to Quit? 166 Ways to Be a Quitter.

“Lots of people pray for God to send new people to their church. Few accept the folks God actually sends.”

Let’s Be the Church

This chapter seems so basic to me because again and again churches fail at something so simple: welcoming people. We did another entire book about this topic—Unwelcome—and the stories we collected about real churches being horribly unwelcome to visitors were heartbreaking.

Sometimes we lose sight of our purpose.

Sometimes we try to impose our beliefs on people who just aren’t there yet.

Sometimes we’re just selfish. Or lazy. Or self-involved.

Whatever it is, we need to quit.

At first glance, chapter 5 is encouraging churches to stop saying they’re welcoming if they’re not. And that’s a good first step. The church of all places shouldn’t be accused of false advertising. But the obvious next step is to actually be welcoming. Don’t just change your message to be accurate, change your actions so your message isn’t hypocritical.

I’m reminded of the radical welcome of Jesus. He hung out with religious snobs, sex workers and IRS agents. A busy and important man, he welcomed children into his midst. He ministered to the mentally unstable, despised foreigners and the contagious. His closest followers included glory hounds, blowhards and a traitor.

Yet he loved them. He welcomed them. And they followed him.

It’s time for the church to quit whatever it is that’s holding us back, and start welcoming people as Jesus did.

More:

  • Is Your Church Ready to Quit? is a cheap little book that offers real value for churches. Buy it now for only $2.99.
  • Get a free preview with the full table of contents, introduction and sample chapters.
  • Learn more about Bob Goff, who inspired this book and quits something every week.
  • Check out 30 Things Our Churches Should Quit, an introductory series that inspired this book.
#5: Quit saying you welcome everyone when you don't.

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Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks


When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998 and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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