Sometimes we need to be on the outside of a situation or place to fully understand a different perspective. I believe that the Church is doing great works across the globe and continues to bring healing and change to the darkest parts of the world. The Church has also had her fair share of criticism from all sides. There are times when this criticism is warranted in order to produce needed change in the Church, then there are times when the Church must stand her ground in the midst of the ever-changing societal norms. This particular post is about the needed change within our Church. This is an opportunity for those in the Church to look at the message we are portraying to the world and see if it matches up to scripture.
I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to Europe this year. If there was an opportunity to hear about a historical fact or see an old church, I would take it. Most churches were gorgeous with a lot of details and splendor, but felt like stuffy libraries with countless reminders to be quiet. I get it. There are a lot of tourists and children and it could probably get loud and people are trying to pray or perhaps connect with God for the first time. I found it hard to not want to sing at the top of my lungs to my creator in such a wonderful place. The bigger the church, the more I wanted to praise God.
In Munich there was a different sign in a particular church. One that stuck with me. The sign read “No Church Viewing.” Really? In the United States we are trying everything to get people to come into our churches and this one puts up a sign to discourage anyone from watching the service.
I get it, there are a lot of tourists. But we are the light of the world. We need to encourage these people to come in, take a seat, and feel welcome! Perhaps they would hear the message of the Gospel for the first time. Maybe this is their opportunity to make Jesus their Lord and Savior simply because they wanted to see a beautiful church and happened upon your service.
To be honest, I think anyone who stayed in that service longer than a couple of minutes might find themselves falling asleep. We need to put life back into our services. We need to put our focus back on Jesus and not our perfect idea of how a service should be conducted down to the second. We need to welcome those who would stumble upon our churches, even if by accident or because it is a beautiful historical building.
To those outside the church, please know you are welcome. I encourage you to church view, I encourage you to bring your entire gaggle of children into these old historical buildings. Come and see our church history, but more importantly, see our church as it is today. Hopefully, you will find it alive and well. Most importantly I hope you find Jesus, as I hope we are displaying Christ’s love to you and your family.
Kimber Nettis is currently an active-duty Captain in the U.S. Air Force. She graduated from Baylor University and is currently pursuing a Masters in Christian Ministry through Liberty University. She and her husband Michael founded Armed to Worship Ministries, a non-profit that serves to organize, train, and equip a lifestyle of worship.