when guests come to tapestry i like to take them out for coffee/ice cream at emy j’s or if need be at zest coffee house by uwsp. i do this to say “thanks” to them for coming and being a part of one of our worship gatherings, to hear their story, and to answer any questions they might have concerning tapestry (we are a bit of a strange breed). yesterday i visited with one such guest and the thread who is her friend.
one of the things i typically do when grabbing coffee with one of our guests is ask what other churches in point he/she has visited. we have quite a few excellent churches in point that i am quite fond of. my biggest concern for everyone who visits tapestry is that they find a community of faith that helps them to best connect with JESUS CHRIST. for some people that gathering is tapestry, which i completely understand because i love this group of people. for others it is one of the other fine churches in the point area. i believe that is one of the benefits of the many different churches in the point area – there is more variety and thus better connections to CHRIST for a variety of people. so i point out other churches that i hope they have or will visit to check out for themselves if they connect better with CHRIST through those communities of faith. again the main point here is for them to find a place that helps them walk in faith. of course, i try to reinforce over and over that i am not telling them to go to another church. i would like for them to connect with CHRIST through us but if that doesn’t happen then i want them to try other churches. so again and again i say “please don’t think that i am asking you to go to another church, i love being around the people of tapestry and i hope you will too.”
so yesterday i went through my spiel with this guest. around the third time i reinforced that i wasn’t asking this guest to go somewhere else the guest’s thread friend started laughing. i asked what was up and she said that some of her friends had heard that i recommended other churches to people and they thought that was odd. apparently i have developed a rep as the pastor that brags on other churches. i guess i can live with that rep.