Tuesday, November 9

A Friendly Church vs. A Relational Church

I recently heard a story of a guy who has been attending 6th and Gibbs for a little more than a year now, and in a conversation we had, he let me know that lots of people shake his hand and ask him how he's doing but he has no friends... In our discussion, I realized that there is a difference between a church that is friendly and a church that builds relationships.  Sure, a friendly church is nice but a relational church is what we are shooting for.  Let me be a little more specific.

A friendly church... greets people on Sunday's and asks "How are you doing?"

A relational church... invites people to their small groups and opens their house hospitably to others.

A friendly church... is welcoming and very smiley on Sunday Mornings.

A relational church... works on building relationships outside of Sunday mornings, especially with those who have been invited or are attending their small groups.

A friendly church... expects the pastor to be the one spurring on evangelism and can't wait for someone or the visitors to "hear what the pastor says today."

A relational church... Understands their job as messengers of the Good News and seeks to not only build relationships with Christians but also with those who need to hear the message of Jesus.

A friendly church... Enjoys having non-Christians in their midst, as long as they don't spill on the carpet.

A relational church... Understands non-Christians act wrong, speak wrong, and are just messy people, yet they love them anyway and seek to spend time with them with the purpose to share the message of Jesus with them.  A relational church does not expect non-Christians to follow the "rules", and are willing to meet people "just as they are".

A friendly church... expects new Christians and non-Christians to conform to their style of church.

A relational church... asks the question:  What can we do to reach a new generation?  How can we best get the truth out to people who want/need to hear it?

Now, the truth is, a relational church takes some work, it's not easy.  People have to step out of their comfort zones.  We have to be willing to give up traditions and the "usual" way of doing business.  Relationships are messy, time consuming and draining.  We will get hurt, but, we will be making a difference.  Our efforts will not be in vain.  We will be tired but fulfilled, we will be hopeful, we will be expectant and we will meet a lot of pretty cool people too.

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