When I was growing up, I played Little League baseball from age 8 to 12. When I was nine, I was placed on a team called the Cardinals. We were a pretty good team and always competed for the league championship. We went 14-1 when for in both of my last two seasons.
There were many kids from different walks of life, but it did not seem to matter. Once we put that uniform on we were all Cardinals. There were guys that I really like and others not so much. But, again, that did not matter. We were a solid team. If you messed with one of us, you messed with all of us.
I remember going to the lunchroom as school and being waved over by kids that were not in my class but were on my team. Even the ones that I did not like so much would want me to sit by them, and I usually did. The camaraderie extended well beyond the things that we did not like about each other.
We accepted each other, warts and all, because we were Cardinals. It was a bond that reached beyond social and economic barriers. It did not even matter if you played in every game or sat on the bench most of the time. You were still a Cardinal and were welcomed without question to any group gathering.
The real question is what team are we on today, right now? Who is the coach that is running the plays in our lives? We should all be on the Jesus team. The Bible, the Holy Spirit, Jesus, and God should be making the calls in our lives. But too often that is not the case.
When a guest walks in the door of our building, are they accepted beyond social and economic barriers? Do they feel welcome by everyone on team Jesus? We know for a fact that Jesus wants them on His team. So when our guests do arrive, are they treated like royalty? Do they get the feeling that they can belong to the group, the whole group?
Each person that walks through our doors should be tired by the end of service from shaking hands, giving out facts about their lives. They should be overwhelmed by the love and graciousness shown by our members of the Jesus team. When they do finally walk out that door, I want them to be thinking, “They are truly glad that I came. This is somewhere where I can fit in and belong, in spite of my warts. They really want me here. I am coming back!”
Ask yourself honestly, “Is that how each and every guest that walks into our building feels?” Or do they get a big dose of, “How are ya? Fine? I am fine to. See ya!”
IF we are to grow as a body and increase the Kingdom for the glory of God, we must leave each precious soul that walks through our doors with an overwhelming sense of welcome and joy. What can we do specifically to make that happen?
Let me KNOW!!!!