There is a great documentary on Queen Elizabeth entitled, “The Queen At 90.” A portion of the show followed preparations for a banquet welcoming the Heads of State from several different countries to London. The preparation was incredible. Among other things, all doors were to be opened for guests from the outside in.
There were a couple sentences in the documentary that spoke to me. I’m paraphrasing, but the essence is accurate.
“With everything prepared intentionally over a period of months, and with the royal welcome provided, the message a guest received was understandable in any language: “The Queen welcomes you. The Queen is glad you’re here.”
Regardless of language barriers, the welcome was understandable. Regardless of preconceived ideas about royalty, the warmth was obvious. Regardless of the understanding of what the Queen was all about, her graciousness was understood.
Fearful expectations melted away in the glow of such graceful hospitality.
The Body of Christ was organized for the purpose of welcoming people home. We open doors from the outside in both physically and spiritually.
Our language, our gatherings, our approaches, our culture must open doors from the outside in, or they will not open at all.
Jesus didn’t call us to follow Him by yelling to us from heaven. He moved onto our block and knocked on our door.
“God made Him to be sin who knew no sin…”
He opened the door from the outside in.
We don’t stand in our imaginary spiritual bubble (and it is an imaginary one) and welcome people to Jesus. We win them by wading into the world and welcoming them home. We open doors from the outside in.
In a very real, practical way, our greeting teams should never stand inside and watch guests come. We should, we must go out and greet them. It's a little thing that reminds us of an important principle and sends a valuable message:
"We've been expecting you. The table is ready. The King is glad you're here."
The look in our eyes should communicate in any language.
The smile on our faces should cross any cultural barrier.
The warmth of our greeting should melt away fearful expectations.
"The King is glad you're here."
Here's to all the greeting teams out there who arrive at church early and stay late to make sure the heart of God is felt before it's talked about. Keep serving! You're where you are by Divine appointment and you're doing more than you can ever realize!
"So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him." (Luke 15:20)