People Are Leaving the Church – Part Twenty-six

The church that man is building; the one that leaves the Holy Spirit out of most of its planning and events… has many false aspects of radical hospitality.

Let’s continue our look at what radical hospitality – an open heart as well as an open home:

Yesterday we saw that it is not:

1> Greeters at the door
2> Meet-and-greet time in the service
3> Coffee and donuts or an expresso bar
4> A come-to-our-deal event
5> A bait and switch
6> Guestbook signing

Let consider several more “it is not” items today…

7> A strict list of “approved” stuff. Churches are notorious for their lists of do’s and don’ts concerning food, music, dress, looks, jewelry, tattoos, piercings, whatever. All these rules exclude others and are just one more sign that we’re judgmental and have our priorities wrong. And they are more often cultural then biblical.

8> Scripted. Radical hospitality doesn’t make use of a rehearsed script outlining four spiritual laws or the sinner’s prayer or cliches. Rather, it entails genuine conversations in which we rely on the Holy Spirit and trust God to act through us as we interact with others. People will return with their questions and doubts if there is a safe, relational setting where God shows up in a fresh way – through unscripted conversations with real, authentic people.

Remember, when considering radical hospitality, “The Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

And, as we invite people to our assemblies and events we too should be looking at their heart and not their life-style, clothing, hair, tattoos, or whatever it is you happen to be against in the culture of the day. Warmly receive people for who they are and where they are in their journey of life. Don’t expect them to act like or believe like a Christian until they become Christians. And even then, don’t make them into your image as a lot of what you believe about lifestyle is simply cultural and not biblical in the least.

Radical hospitality is a basic, foundational necessity if we are hoping to be helping Jesus build His church. The Church that Jesus is building is, in many ways, vastly different than the one that man has built. Radical hospitality is a real key to be a warm, loving, accepting place where people can bring their doubts and fears and ask their questions. Much needs to change today if we are truly going to practice radical hospitality. And, these changes must be well thought out and intentional.

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