From the Pastor's Desk
Where is the Narthex? Woeller Hall? Where are the bathrooms? What is that room on the west side of the sanctuary – the one with the wall of windows? Can I drink my coffee in the sanctuary? How about gum – can I chew gum during worship?
Have you noticed that the words “prelude,” “postlude,” “offertory,” “doxology,” and “benediction” are not in the bulletin? What do those words mean, anyway?
Everyone knows “The Lord’s Prayer” – why are the page number and the words printed in the bulletin?
Why do we all have to use gluten free bread during communion?
If you have participated at Desert Chapel for years, you know where the restrooms are, you know what the cry room is, you know that Narthex and Lobby are the same thing, and that Woeller Hall is the large building north of the sanctuary. You know that it’s okay to bring bev-erages into the sanctuary, and chew gum during worship – and you even know what all those Latin words mean. You’ve had “The Lord’s Prayer” memorized – maybe since childhood … and you know that for many years gluten free communion elements were provided on trays in the middle of the room.
So why the changes? The answer is simple: Hospitality.
The simple truth is guests who come to worship don’t know any of that stuff. Things that are so familiar to those who have been around for a while are unfamiliar to someone who is new.
As Christ-followers who are called to make disciples for the transformation of the world, it is up to us to do all we can to welcome guests into our midst.
Hospitality grows churches. Radical hospitality nurtures vitality in churches. Hospitality is evangelism in its simplest form. Those are three and true powerful statements. Authentic, genuine hospitality is the easiest way to show everyone who the church really is and how serious the church is about following the mandate of Jesus to reach out and make disciples.
As we gather together to worship, let’s remember to extend hospitality to all. As we read in Romans 12:13b, “extend hospitality to strangers;” and in Hebrews 13:2, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.”
See you in church!