I’m gonna share some ideas from Ron Sylvia’s book, Starting New Churches On Purpose, and process them out loud and see what you think. Here’s one:
One of my favorite things in this book is the idea of “accepting everyone who walks through the doors” and “creating an atmosphere of acceptance.” Ron writes:
Remember, just because you accept them, it does not mean you have to approve of
their lifestyle. And, just because they are different, it does not make them
unworthy of your church. Be unflappable when people come to you. You have no
idea what they have been through and how they have lived. And you have no
idea what God wants to do with them.
I love the idea of being “unflappable.” I have had tons of people tell me, when they hear that I’m going to be starting a church on the Las Vegas Strip, “You’re perfect for that,” and “If anyone can do that, you can,” and I’m not sure what they all mean by those comments. But I can say that one of my greatest strengths is that I am unflappable when people come to me. Nothing surprises me, I don’t judge people, and it doesn’t make me feel uncomfortable to be around anyone.
What about you? Picture a worst-case-scenario for you: Like if you were going to a dinner party, what kind of person would you feel really uncomfortable sitting next to? A gay couple? A homeless guy? A prostitute? A fanatical Muslim? A drug dealer? A militant vegan? An atheistic professor? A crack whore?
I think if we follow the life of Jesus, we should be unflappable. I don’t see Jesus seeming uncomfortable around any kind of person, or any kind of sin. So what could you do to become more unflappable?…Do it.