It’s easy to poke fun at some of the things churches say on their welcome sign. It’s easy to question some of the things that make it inside a church bulletin.
It’s easy to say “this is bad,” but it’s a lot harder to say “this is good.” Anyone can critique, but creating is a lot more difficult.
So what does a great welcome message look like? What does an awesome welcome message look like?
It looks exactly like what “Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Community” has in their church.
My friend attended there recently, and I got a copy of what they hand out. I posted a photo of it below so you could see what it looks like, but the image got cut off so here’s what it says:
“We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, gay, filthy rich, dirt poor, y no habla Ingles. We extend a special welcome to those who are crying new-borns, skinny as a rail or could afford to lose a few pounds.
“We welcome you if you can sing like Andrea Bocelli or like our pastor who can’t carry a note in a bucket. You’re welcome here if you’re “just browsing,” just woke up or just got out of jail. We don’t care if you’re more Catholic than the Pope, or haven’t been in church since little Joey’s Baptism.
“We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet, and to teenagers who are growing up too fast. We welcome soccer moms, NASCAR dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians, junk-food eaters. We welcome those who are in recovery or still addicted. We welcome you if you’re having problems or you’re down in the dumps or if you don’t like “organized religion,” we’ve been there too.
“If you blew all your offering money at the dog track, you’re welcome here. We offer a special welcome to those who think the earth is flat, work too hard, don’t work, can’t spell, or because grandma is in town and wanted to go to church.
“We welcome those who are inked, pierced or both. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down your throat as a kid or got lost in traffic and wound up here by mistake. We welcome tourists, seekers and doubters, bleeding hearts … and you!”
Bravo to Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Community! That should be made into a poster and hung in church offices around the world.
I love the thought that a few members of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Community getting together and saying, “Let’s invite everyone to come meet Jesus!” And then they started writing their list.
And it got long. Why?
Because everyone needs Jesus.
Everyone changes when they meet Jesus.
And they wanted to make sure everyone knew they were invited to meet him.
This article first appeared on Jon Acuff’s blog on July 25, 2012.