When I was a leader at my former church, a Southern Baptist/ Non-Denom congregation, I always tried to think outside of the box when it came to bringing in new attendees or raising awareness about the church’s work. When we had moved from the non-existent community of Williams to Poteau I asked the other fellow leaders to do something every Sunday; give up their normal close to the doors parking spot and park in the back.
This wasn’t about secretly trying to enact 2-3 minutes of exercise in the lives of people who normally saw none of it. It was about us doing the simplest thing to humble ourselves and allow new attendees to have the best spots. In fact, I brought up the idea of reserving the front row of spots for 1st to 2nd time attendees. This was met with much applause and was practiced for a while, well really it was 2 weeks, and then people resorted back to a “first come-first serve” mentality.
Now this wasn’t due in part to people wanting the best spot no matter who came that Sunday, but due to a lack of fresh faces. Sure, once a month a new person would dart through the doors, but soon after they were gone and never heard from again. Thus, if their is no one to save the spot the for why am I walking all this extra distance?
I believe this mentality is exactly the problem. If their is no one to be concerned about why should I do this?
It’s this way of thinking that makes churches put extra money into a savings account instead of finding someone or some group outside of the church who needs it to buy groceries or pay for utilities.
It’s this habit that says why turn off the stuff I’m not using if I can afford to pay for it?
It’s this mentality that asks why practice humility if I have nothing to be humble over?
It’s because living the Christ-like life isn’t something that we do only when necessity presents itself. Looking and living more like Jesus is a life long goal; not just something we do when we need to make new visitors feel welcome. Is continually parking in the rear of the parking lot, wherever you go as long as safety doesn’t become a concern for you or your children, the best you could do? No, but it’s a step in the right direction. A step anyone and everyone can make today.