John Archer, one of our Welcome Team leaders, explains why making people feel at home on a Sunday is so important.
We Are Family. These three words sum up everything we try to be as a Welcome Team.
Why? Because when family works properly, everyone is welcomed unconditionally. When family works properly, houses become homes. Families eat together, laugh together, cry together and persevere together. Families are not without their flaws, but they push on united by their family name.
When we gather our welcome teams from across our four services, we often reflect on Jesus’ story about a Prodigal Son in Luke 15. Prodigal – an odd word – means recklessly extravagant, having spent everything. It is easy to attribute this to the arrogant, self-loving younger brother. He lives as if his father is dead and acts as if his life is centre stage. Yet when the younger brother decides to return home – unsatisfied and underwhelmed by the life he has lived – it is his father who is truly and recklessly extravagant. His father breaks every patriarchal tradition: he runs towards his returning son and throws a celebration of unparalleled proportion. This welcome is unexpected – and even criticised by onlookers – yet it helps the younger brother re-discover his place in the family.
What would it look like if church was known for being a family where everyone – whoever they were – was welcomed with reckless extravagance? We think peace looks like a dining table: sometimes metaphorical, sometimes real but always a place where everyone – and anyone – can sit, contribute, be known, belong and be transformed through love together united under the family name of Jesus Christ.
We love Welcome. Perhaps you would consider joining one of our welcome teams as we turn the venues for our services from houses into homes – homes fit for families that welcome everyone.