Last week, I wrote that warm churches trump cool churches. That’s important to know (especially if you attend a not-so-cool church) because:
Not every church can be a cool church (While there are cool and warm churches, it seems to me that there are more uncool churches than cool ones. But that’s not the end of the world, read on…).
Not every church can be in a neighborhood where the population is booming.
Not every church can afford lights and fog machines.
Not every church can remove their pews for chairs.
Not every church can change their orange carpet for polished cement floors.
Not every church wants to decorate with wood pallets but has dusty plastic ferns.
Not every church serves cappuccino and lattes.
Not every pastor is hip (The usage of the word “hip” should tell you I’m not “hip” or whatever the new word is that implies “hipness.”).
Not every church can have a worship leader in skinny jeans (one of our worship leaders has recently lost 130 pounds or so, and told me that he is wearing “skinnier” jeans, but he’s still not wearing “skinny” jeans).
Not every church can change the outside of their building to look like a warehouse instead of their circa 1957 church building.
Not every church wants to change their name from Podunk First Church of the Nazarene or Timbuktu Baptist Church to “Sonshine Church” or “The Clift.”
Not every attender wears clothes like they just stepped out of a J Crew catalogue. Sometimes, parishioners’ dresses and suits look like they came from Montgomery Ward and probably weren’t in style even when purchased.
Not every church likes to sing Hillsong United songs but prefers Charles Wesley hymns.
Not every church is cool.
Every church can be warm.
Every church can love their neighbors.
Every church can be welcoming and hospitable.
Every church can act like visitors are their long-lost relatives. (I told one of my churches that had plenty of older folks when I arrived, that they needed to pretend that new comers were their grandkids who hadn’t been in church for a while. They bought it. They loved new people. Offered the newbies to sit in the pew with them and never complained about their attire. They were kind and loving. They were warm).
Every church can have a pastor who models warmth in his/her mannerisms and words.
Every church can help people find Jesus.
Every church can be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Every church can be a lighthouse to those in the dark, a hospital to the hurting, a repair shop for the broken and a loving example of God’s grace to anyone who comes through the doors.
Every church… Every. Single. Church can be warm.
With so many lonely and getting lonelier people, with so many hopeless and discouraged people, with so many faithless people all around us– warm trumps cool. Cool might get folks in the door, but warm is what keeps them coming back. Even if the church you attend isn’t cool, the good news is that every church can be (should be) warm! Maybe your church is both (warm and cool), but if I had to choose one, I’d choose warm. People need warm, they don’t need cool. Let’s determine to be like the believers in Jerusalem who Luke mentions in Acts 21:17, where everyone who walks through our doors can say: When we arrived at Jerusalem (or in your church), the brothers and sisters received us warmly.
I want to say something, but I’m afraid I will ruin it. So I will just say thank you!