Does your church ooze God’s love?

Posted: April 10, 2014 by efenster in Ideas
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imagesGod loves you and…there is nothing you can do about it!” is a phrase used by a United Methodist church every Sunday in its worship service.  The church goes on to say, “And we love you too!”  If there’s one gift that every church can give its guests and members, it’s God’s love!  You don’t have to be a growing church, a wealthy church, or a church with a great facility.  Your church always can freely and generously share God’s love.

So how are we doing?  Rarely do I meet a church that doesn’t think it is the friendliest church around.  Yet, there’s a difference between generously sharing God’s love and being “friendly.”  I read some place years ago that newcomers aren’t looking so much for a friendly church as a church where they can make friends.  There’s a difference isn’t there?  Is your church a place that intentionally helps its guests make friends?  Is it a place where folks respond by saying, “this place oozes love”?  (An actual quote!)

Members of a church I visited recently on a weeknight were cold as ice.  They didn’t acknowledge me when I entered the room but continued conversations with their neighbors.  When I introduced myself to them, they never gave me their names.  In fact, what they did do was to stand up and move to seats farther away from me.  Surely they don’t do this to worship guests on Sunday mornings!

Two churches, one that “oozes love” and the one cold as ice.  Which best describes your church?  What step could your church take to be more loving?

One simple way that Faith United Methodist Church in Kendallville does this is to shower its shut-in’s, college students, and community (e.g. firefighters, street department, nearby elementary school faculty) with “Notes of Caring.”  Each week during worship, members write notes of encouragement.  Then the cards are delivered later that week.  Already this year the church has delivered nearly 1,000 Notes of Caring throughout its community!

So what step will your church take?

— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director for Church Development



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