Growing up we had a close knit relationship with several of our neighbors. We lived on a cul-de-sac and everyone knew everyone and we watched out for each other. I grew up playing kickball in the street with all the kids who lived nearby and the parents all were friends too. But, even though we were friendly with all our neighbors, didn't mean that everyone didn't have different rules...they did.
Our next door neighbors were nice, and had kids my age, but they had LOTS of rules. To enter their house was to enter a museum (and not a kid friendly one). Shoes had to be removed, the carpet and couch were white and not to be touched by kids and no part of that house was kid friendly. Though I liked those kids, I didn't enjoy going to their house at all and often politely turned down chances to come over and play. I never really felt welcomed, only tolerated.
Another friend's house was very different. I always felt welcomed and loved to go over and play. The mom was so nice and the dad was fun. Their basement was full of toys and the family invited me over to play games or watch movies. I loved going to that house and went as often as I could.
Churches aren't that much different, really. Some churches feel cold and sterile, not like a place where you want to spend time or feel welcomed. Other churches feel homey, like a place you can kick up your feet and have a chat over coffee. The building can play a part in this, but what matters more is the atmosphere of welcome (or lack thereof). People make you feel welcome. People invite you in. People befriend you. People care about you.
I want Six Points to be a welcoming place. I want visitors to come and find they are not just tolerated, but beloved. I want new families to feel accepted. As our community grows and changes, I want our church to be a church that people want to come to...that has a reputation as warm and welcoming. We already do this fairly well, but we can always improve and make an effort to greet the new couple, to introduce ourselves to a new family and help them meet others. Can we make Six Points a welcoming church that people will be excited to return to?