I went to a church the other day. I noticed some things about this church that really got me thinking. As I looked in the glass doors, the place was packed. People were talking to each other and seemed to be enthralled. I didn’t notice anyone who was grumpy. I saw smiles. This place was like a buzzing hive of activity. As I walked around there were a few people who acknowledged my presence, but that’s okay, I wasn’t looking to get noticed.
As I strolled through the place, it seemed people were intent on practicing their faith. They were talking “church.” With excitement they were interacting with each other on the topics of their faith. They were sharing how they were using their faith. And it seemed they all understood what it was about. Looking farther into the facility, this church had places, or centers where people were engaged in learning. They were asking questions, finding answers. And this was a place for all ages. A couple of the centers had stuff just for kids. There were kids who were involved and parents watching them, excited to see them learning and participating.
I wandered around for a while and finally someone who seemed to be really well-trained, came up to me and asked if I had any questions about this faith. He wanted to know first, if I was already a member… by asking just a question or two, he could sense that I was just dipping my toe into the water, testing it out. I began asking a few questions. In a friendly and non-pushy way, he began answering my questions. One by one, he answered with the right mixture of knowledge and understanding. He even offered me a one-on-one appointment and that made me feel important. It almost seemed like he would welcome my joining but he didn’t need for that to happen… this made me want it a little more.
As I walked around I thought, “oh, if more churches could be like this we’d be better off. We might see more people wanting what the church has to offer.
After about 1/2 an hour I meandered back outside. I didn’t join but I’m still considering it. It seems the people who were there were just happy to be part of something that was bigger than themselves. And that thought excites me too. How would you feel about a church like this?
People with an obvious excitement about their faith; people engaged with one another in learning and discovering faith; an open door where people are free to come in and search; knowledgeable helpers who can define, explain and share how this faith can impact your life – now that’s a church to belong to!
But this wasn’t really a church. It was the Apple Store and I’m still thinking about becoming a member.