First the Door – this is a way to tell all not only that we are hospitable but also that we are open. Open to suggestions, criticism and correction. When a Church closes this door it begins to die. People who criticize are welcome because they make us aware of our blind spots. Blind spots are things we will never see unless someone points them to us. It’s like looking for something at the back of your head! You will never see it. These people are not enemies, they are admirers only that their admiration is constructive not destructive! People who always say all is good are dangerous. I want to keep the door of our Church open for people to have their say.
Second we must have the Bible open – not just when we are preaching but at all times. Open in our lives so that we live by it. While it is good to let people have their say, we must let God have the last word! He alone can keep us on the right track. A Church not obedient to the word is just but a social club. God must speak! And when He speaks all must be silent! The Bible must be open!
The heart of the Church – I know! You are asking, “But the Church has no heart!” Sure it does! You see the Church is a living organism, or should be a living organism, not an organization. The moment a Church ceases to have a heart it changes from being an organism and becomes an organization. What then do I mean by the heart?
The heart of the Church are the policies, practices, and rules that we set. We must remain open to show that we accept others and are not an exclusive club. Don’t get me wrong! I do not want us to be worldly, on the contrary! I want a Church that teaches people that they all of us are sinners only separated by grace. For that to happen we must show them more grace than law. We must criticize our own laws and ask ourselves how we would feel if we were outsiders looking in. Many of us have unbiblical laws and almost make salvation to be by works! I want a Church where even when we point out sin we do it with love and acceptance, not with law and vengeance. When the heart of the Church is open then people will feel that they are home. Where they are accepted and loved.
The kitchen must remain open! – an old saying states that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Does that surprise you? Then I will restate, the Kitchen must remain open. People tend to interact more and feel more free with each other when they eat together. I call it the miracle of food! We don’t even need to eat exotic cuisine to feel welcomed! Even our ordinary food tastes nicer when eaten in an atmosphere of love. This is what made the early Church blossom, among many other things of course. People love a Church that gives them something to eat. It is not an extra expense to prepare food, it should be part of the ministry budget- unless of course someone volunteers to cook. A meal is the way to say we value people and the universal language of acceptance! The Kitchen should remain open!
So there you go an open door, an open Bible, an open heart and an open Kitchen. This is Church as I imagine it to be!