But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 1Ti 3:15
Change doesn't come easy for Baptists. "We ain't never done it this way before." and "Its always been this way." is the original Baptist mantra. But sometimes a lack of change leads to complacency. Its like the stain in the carpet. If you see it often enough for long enough, you don't see it any more. When some one new comes in, they see that to which we have become blind.
Our little church auditorium is nice, but esthetically, it had been weighed in the balance and found wanting. The decorations were old and out of date. The pews were in three sections. The outer two sections were against the walls on either side. If a lost man was sitting there, he would have to crawl over as many as five people to get to an aisle. My lovely bride called it "uninviting." It was time to do something.
So we did. Without saying a word to the church, I went in this week and took out five of the twenty one pews. I made two side aisles and one large center aisle. (We can still seat 96 people comfortably. And we're not here yet.) We took down some rather archaic fixtures, redid the bulletin boards and missions display, and vois la!
With the soon to come addition of new drapes, our "shake up" will be well underway. We also hope to pad the pews soon. Now, that's inviting.
Sunday was the big surprise for the people. The vast majority absolutely loved the change. It is so much easier just to move around now. No one is ever sitting more than two "excuse me's" away from an aisle. My daughter said it really adds feng shui. I think that means the natural flow of a room.
I think that's a good thing...not sure, but I think so.
When trying to reach your community its not enough to to invite them. Your church must be inviting. When they walk in, does the room tell them they are welcomed there. I am trying to see my church through the eyes of a first time visitor. We live across from a neighborhood where the homes start at $250,000. My "Jerusalem" is a very nice place. Our community needs to see that we are serious about what we are doing. It is not simply about appearance; it is about our testimony. If it the house of God, then what does its condition say about our God or our devotion to Him. Just a thought. Thanks for reading.
Now, about that fellowship hall.....