Take a few minutes to search church websites and you will find that most churches include these 5 words--"Come Just as You Are." These words are inviting. They portray the essence of hospitality and welcoming. They are used to attempt to break down walls between the churched and the unchurched.
However, these 5 words can often be one of the greatest lies from a church.
Come as you are...
"...but you have to be dressed right. No short skirts. No hats."
"...unless you are part of 'that' political party."
"...unless your skin is of a certain color."
"...unless you are part a particular social class."
"...but you have to believe right."
"...as long as you look like us, dress like us, and live like us."
Often, these phrases aren't blatantly spoken, but when visitors sit on a pew without anyone speaking to them or inviting them to lunch, these principles are unintentionally conveyed.
Chris Seidman challenged us at ACU Summit to consider if we do a better job of "accepting" people or "excepting" people. He is right on.
What are the barriers, walls, and roadblocks that must be torn down in order for us to truly embrace the phrase "Come just as you are"?
To be continued...(more tomorrow).