I’ve been blogging about people leaving by the back door of our churches, lodges, clubs, etc. This morning when I went to get a cup of coffee at my local convenience store, I could barely get in the door. A line had formed at the only open register and the coffee island made the entrance area narrow and difficult to navigate. So I had to thread my way around the island and the people to get to the coffee and then get to the line to pay.
In our organizations we need to find ways to keep the doors and entrances clear and accessible. While that’s true literally, it is also a metaphor for keeping the way clear for people to connect. Sometimes the door out the back may be the one that is most accessible and most easily reached!
In the church I think that means we begin by asking questions about the doorways and entrances (sometimes literally, yes – can people with handicapping conditions even get into our buildings and restrooms and worship spaces?). But also metaphorically – can someone new find her way to a personal connection? Can a guest get into a group or gathering where he can feel like he connected to other people.
We don’t mean to do it, but the words we say and the things we do sometimes block the doors. We look up as people wander by us but don’t get out of the way. People will ask us to move if we are in their way won’t they? If they are interested they will make their way around us won’t they?
Well… they won’t! We need to be attentive to those who are trying to make their way. They showed up in our midst and want to be here. Maybe we can help them stay.