Thursday, 11 November 2010

The Friendly Church

I am often struck by the number of churches I encounter that claim to be friendly. We are a welcoming bunch of folk - that's what we have got going for us. Happily there is a lot of truth in the claim, but we also need to recognise those places where it fails to work out. It is also true that too many churches work on an "in crowd" model. We don't make our churches accessible - and here I am not talking about ramps, rails and loops, important though they are. I am talking about the accessibility of our worship, the accessibility of the conversation around coffee after the service, the accessibility of the different activities. How do things work out if you are not "in the know"? We do well to note Robert Warren's words (in "The Healthy Churches' Handbook", p. 41) - "Real welcome is what happens after we have said, 'hello'."

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