I was thinking about ice cream the other day in light of all the "flavors" of church that are out there. Especially in the middle-upper class community where I serve. All types of churches come this way, whether as start-ups or multi-site campuses. Why? For the people. Where there are people, there are stories. Opportunities for life change. Oh, and resources. And each new church does its best to attract the folks who aren't engaged in the existing churches. And maybe even steal a few from other churches. We try our best to convince the audience that our "flavor" is it! What happens in reality is this...people settle in where they feel most comfortable. We all have a go-to flavor. One that does the trick or hits the spot. And at the end of the day, as long as we're enjoying the wonderment of ice cream, does it really matter if we pick different flavors? Can't we agree to disagree about which is the best?
What about our churches? What about the people in our communities that have never even tasted church? They don't know of the goodness of God. They've missed this thing we call a relationship with Jesus. They're not trying to decide which flavor they like....they don't like any of it because they've never tried it. Who's out there introducing them to it? Are we offering a chance for people to experience it in its purest, most enjoyable form? What if they don't like it? Are we ok if they choose NOT to partake ever again? Or what if they try our flavor and end up choosing another? Is it good that at least they're enjoying it in some form or fashion?
May we as the Church find fun and creative ways to expose people to the goodness of church. The truth of the Gospel. The power of community. The blessing of giving our lives away and showing up for others. May we help them discover the joy of something they've been missing out on. May we worry less about whose flavor is better and just be glad people are eating. At the end of the day, isn't that what really matters? May we not cause anyone to decide that ice cream just isn't worth it. And choose to go without. How tragic that would be!