Obstacles

Mud face
My friend, Will, served in the Marines and now serves as a police officer. He’s the kind of guy who lives for a challenge. If it isn’t hard, it’s not worth doing. Case in point: Will started participating in Mud Runs. Monochromatically brown pictures were splattered across his Facebook page. He and his compatriots were enveloped in mud. Only their eyes were clean.
 

When I asked Will about the attraction of slogging through mud, he excitedly launched into a soliloquy on the wonders of the sport! It wasn’t just running in mud … it was scrambling over logs in mud, scaling walls covered in mud, crawling through drainage tubes half-filled with mud, jumping over burning logs in mud … and … well “So much more!” One day he rushed up to me and said, “You won’t believe what they did to us this Saturday!” The last pit on the grueling course had a maze of high voltage/low amperage wires dangling above it. Pushing your way through the cables resulted in a long series of harmless, but painful, stinging shocks. Maybe it was the charge he’d picked up, but Will was beaming. His conclusion? “Dude … it was awesome!”

Judging by the pictures Will continues to post, there are thousands of people who love to take on and conquer such obstacles. But when it comes to braving a new church … I have the feeling that the numbers are much lower. For many, just stepping inside a church can be a harrowing experience. The more hurdles they find inside the higher the probability that they won’t return. The hardest thing about the obstacles that keep newcomers from feeling welcome is that they’ve become invisible to those of us who regularly attend. This year as we concentrate on having a positive presence in our community, we’ll also be looking at ways to improve our welcome. Tune in next week!

Welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. Romans 15:7