Monthly Archives: January 2011
A while back, I was Facebook-friended by someone with whom I’d gone to elementary school, a woman I hadn’t seen in 15 years. In that same week, I was friended by another schoolmate, a man I hadn’t seen in 25 years. I’ll call these two people, who are not facebook friends with each other, Leia and Mork.
In response to surveys and as a part of informal conversations, most people share the perception that their congregation is friendly to those who visit.
The reality, however, is that most of our congregations are not as welcoming as they like to think; and people who join our congregations often do not continue to be as active as when they joined. There is a significant hospitality gap between the image of the church as warm and welcoming and what guests and new members actually experience.
The shout rang out from the men’s room in the Chicago airport, and I heard it all the way in the women’s room next door. My husband had taken our son, Sam, who is seven, to the bathroom between flights. It was not the first time I’d heard such a shout. I ran out with my daughter to find out what was happening to Sam.