I was sending out letters today to our first time guests and it made me think about how people really feel when visiting our church. The truth is that I want them to be comfortably uncomfortable. We work hard at creating an environment that lowers people’s defenses. They may have pre-conceived ideas about church and about Christians. So our church is relaxed and informal. We have people greeting in the parking lot and at the door. We check-in all the children. We do everything we can to make sure that they get to their seat without feeling awkward or uncomfortable. But when the service starts, it’s not about being comfortable anymore. It’s about hearing from God. When God speaks to your heart, you can expect to be uncomfortable.
There will always be tension when we realize that God wants us to change and grow. It is uncomfortable when we are confronted with our own sinfulness. But here’s the crazy part, if you preach Jesus, and preach repentance, and preach discipleship, most people won’t get mad and leave the church. When they see lives being changed, and realize that it’s not all about enjoyment and entertainment, they become hungry to seek more of God. Don’t fall into the trap of wanting everyone to “enjoy” church and be comfortable, because for us to change we must be comfortably uncomfortable.