Company’s Coming Redux

Pastor Will Healy

Will Healy

In case you missed it, this past Sunday was our first Company’s Coming experience here at Emmaus, a special emphasis on inviting a friend, co-worker, neighbor or family member to join you for worship.  It was encouraging to have a number of visitors in church, but perhaps even more so, to have tried to think through how we plan a service by looking at it through the lens of someone who’s not been here before.  So many questions emerged, like whether there are things we take for granted or assume that may need explanation.   A few tweaks in how we usually do things resulted:

  • The scripture was shown on the screen to give one additional way for God’s word to be received;
  • A children’s message was shared as a visible reminder that our kids are very much a part of our life together as a church;
  • Gratitude expressed for all who were there, whether newly arrived or “been here forever”;
  • A forgoing of the usual Registry of Friendship in the pews as we sought to not ask a new person to sign up for anything on their first visit;
  • Hearty scones following worship (sorry they were all gone by the end of the first service) as an extension of our hospitality;
  • The invitation for people to sing together with the words: “When we sing together in church there’s no such thing as a wrong note, for as much as we like the folks around us, we’re not singing for their approval—we’re just raising our voice, the voice God gave us, in praise and worship…”

So perhaps God was nudging us to have that good exercise inform our worship and ministry together moving forward as well.  My prayer is that we’ll continue to be on the look-out for those God allows to cross our path, those who may not have a church community in their lives, that we might be a church that invites and welcomes the “new wine” for whom God desires us to be a renewing wineskin.

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