Holy huddles, Comfort zones, and Unfamiliarity

In the fall of 2010, Hope Fellowship had not yet launched Sunday morning worship services at RSE. As a matter of fact, we didn't even have a church name eight years ago! All we had was a small group of people, gathering in our home every Sunday night for bible study and a potluck meal. Looking back, I would describe it as a "house church". Those were good times!
We all knew each other, we enjoyed hanging out together, and the fellowship was sweet.

During that same season, my wife and I decided it would be a good idea to visit a few churches since we knew God was leading our core group to start a church. We wanted to see a variety of church models to learn from.

I'll never forget of the churches we visited in Murfreesboro. I had heard so many wonderful reports about all God had been doing at that church!

We arrived about 10 minutes early. The lobby was packed! There were tons of people visiting, laughing, and enjoying their time together. They all seemed really happy. It was wonderful to see all of these people enjoying what seemed like quality and sincere fellowship. It reminded me of the sweet fellowship in our living room!

But here is what surprised me. No one at church seemed to be focused on welcoming new guests. I was pretty disappointed.

I remember politely interrupting one of the huddles to ask for directions to the auditorium. The worship service honored God, it was a good morning, but I walked away pretty confused.

What's the point of me telling this story?
Many of us do the very same thing at Hope Fellowship Church.

It's comfortable for us to huddle up at church with the people we know. It's natural. It's easy. We all want to "catch up" with our church friends. I get that.

Please hear my heart and my challenge for our entire church.

May we never be known as a church that is not intentional in welcoming people! Our goal is to always be outwardly focused!
People matter!

Would you make it a priority every Sunday to meet someone you don't recognize? Plan to arrive 10 minutes early and stay 10 minutes late each week to meet people.

This Sunday, we'll be talking about our strategic ministry partners for the 2018-2019 school year. God has called us to be intentional in our local mission efforts...because people matter!

Let's do this church!
God bless, Kent

Jared Shingleton