One of my friends/mentors, Mark Love, has begun highlighting what he calls “signs that your congregation is growing in their participation in the life and mission of God.”
So far, it’s all brilliant.
In his first post, Dr. Love (yes, really) claims that a healthy, missional church will be typified by hospitality and diversity. Every word is worth reading, but in case you’re not going to take the time to read it all here, here’s a little snippet to get you thinking:
“Does your congregation do a good job of welcoming and involving a diverse range of individuals? You are participating in the new creation of God if you are living into Paul’s exhortation, ‘welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you for the glory of God.’ The key here is ‘as Christ has welcomed you.’ The welcome of Christ creates a community where there is no longer Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female, but all are one in Christ Jesus.
Homogeneous congregations should be suspicious that they haven’t learned to welcome others in the way of Christ.“
What do you think? Have you been a part of Christian community whose embodiment of God’s hospitality resulted in a multi-ethnic, mixed-income, and/or inter-generational family? If so, what did they do to cultivate that sort of welcome?
I’m guessing it took more than smiley people shaking hands at the door…