Sometimes it feels like the whole process of connecting with a church is more like buying a timeshare than joining a family. You’re invited to come check out how awesome it is, everyone treats you well and then you’re brought in for a very “low pressure” meeting to close the deal. If you sign on the dotted line, you’re treated like royalty. If you don’t, you’re ushered out with respectful pity. After all, if you really loved your family, you would do whatever it takes to invest in time together and memories that never fade.
Sound familiar? Hey, come check out our church, we think it’s pretty awesome. Once you attend for a couple of weeks, we’ll have a meeting to tell you about us, answer your questions and get you bought in. If this is the church for you, we love you! If not, well, maybe one day you’ll decide you love Jesus and come join us.
Perhaps that’s a bit of an overstatement. Or it might hit closer to home than any of us would like to admit.
For the record, I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong or manipulative with that process. It’s simple, clean, efficient and very logical. It’s just not the way you welcome new members to a family. When Aidan was born, we didn’t invite him to a meeting. We had a party.
When someone is thinking about joining the spiritual family of Restoration City Church, we don’t want to invite them to a meeting. We want to welcome them with a party. That’s why we’re reimagining Starting Point. We’re shifting it from a meeting after our gathering to a dinner at my house. Yes, we’ll still communicate some basic information about the church and give people the chance to ask questions. But the real point of the night is to build relationships and acclimate people to our family’s culture.
Ephesians 2:19 tells us, “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,” We really are a spiritual family and Restoration City is one little outpost of God’s household. We want to welcome people to the household with a party, not a meeting. Granted, it’s a small shift. But I think it communicates something important about our culture. Families have parties.
So, are you new to Restoration City? Want to meet some of the people you see on Sunday morning? Want to learn a little bit more of our story and share some of yours? Then, let’s have dinner! We’re hosting our first reimagined Starting Point this Sunday from 4.30 – 6.30 at our house (sorry for the early time but we’re working around bedtimes for little kids!). You can find out more and RSVP here.
Laura and I would love to hang out with you on Sunday!