Every household has “the code”! You know, the way things are to be done, what is acceptable and what is not. Some of us growing up knew when we broke the code, not by what was said, but by what wasn’t said. The stare said “You’re out of line and if you don’t shape up, your life may end prematurely!” Regardless of your living context there is no doubt a code, a preferred way of conduct that aims to make life for everyone enjoyable. I am sure that in some living contexts the code is stated and posted for all to see:
- Last one out turn out the lights
- No loud music after 10pm
- Use the garbage (novel idea for some)
- Don’t eat my food in the fridge! (This also could result in premature death)
At Bethel we are like a family, hopefully minus the stares. There are certain kinds of behaviour that will encourage family health and there are certain kinds of behaviour that will make being together more of a challenge. I want to remind you of some of the needed behaviours and attitudes so that we can do life well together especially on Sunday mornings.
- Make room for people. In case you haven’t noticed, on many Sundays our services are very full. You can help by moving to the front, so late comers do not have to walk all the way up to the front pew. Think of how difficult this is for a newcomer. Sitting in the front pew should not be someone’s penance for being late.
- After the first service, make a point of greeting, including inviting. You can invite people to the gym for coffee and conversation. After the second service you can invite people over to your home or Tim’s.
- Don’t be afraid of talking to people from other generations. We are an inter-generational church. We need to be crossing the unhealthy dividing lines that can exist in some churches.
- See yourself as a contributor, not just a consumer. Find ways to contribute in creating an atmosphere of warmth on Sundays. How you treat people may determine whether they ever return to Bethel. More importantly, how you treat people may influence someone on what they think of God. Now that’s a heavy!
- When you greet new people, introduce them to a few others. Breaking in can be difficult, and our efforts in this area can go a long way in opening up the friendship circles at Bethel.
- If you see a newcomer with children or youth be sure to inform them of our youth and children’s ministries. Tell them how they can get in touch with Pam or Fred. Both their emails are in the bulletin.
Healthy church families do not just happen. They are the result of people like you and me choosing to embrace healthy attitudes and behaviours. Healthy churches result when God’s Spirit moves among His people in such a way as to make the community of faith- awesome! So be sure to do your part, minus the stares!