I'm so excited that in a few weeks from now, we celebrate our second anniversary. We're holding a celebration Sunday we're calling "Party for Two". So many churches really feature a party for one kind of person: a Christian. But when we started Connexus, we wanted to create the kind of church where two kinds of people were always in the room: Christians and our friends who don't normally go to church. We wanted to create a party for two.
I asked Sarah Flemming, one of our staff team members, to reflect on what happens to her when she invites a friend to church. Like so many of us, she realizes that changes everything. Listen in to Sarah's story:
When my alarm buzzed before the sun was up to start putting together portable church, I was energized already. Not because I was about to get my fill of church for another week, but because my friend was about to walk through church doors for the first time in years. What makes or breaks that experience I am not entirely sure – but I can tell you my experience and it changes everything. It is as though when you have fresh eyes and ears sitting beside you, you are given fresh eyes and ears yourself. Every song lyric rings in your ear. You hear every word, every syllable, spoken during the message. You digest everything twice over, knowing it won’t all make sense to them. If my friend cannot join me at church, understand the teaching of God’s Word, and feel free to question, observe and engage – then what is the church doing? Are we being disciples?
When I have a friend sitting beside me the question shifts from, “How much did I get from the message?” to “Did my friend understand it?” It shifts from; “Did I like the song choices?” to “Did my friend like the music?” And from, “Did I have a good morning?” to “Would my friend come back?”
When a friend comes with me to church, nothing is about me. It’s all about them. How would you do church if this Sunday was your friend’s first morning? If a friend comes with me to church on Sunday morning I look at everything from a whole new perspective.
I think Sarah's got incredible insight into this. How do things change for you when you bring a friend with you?