My usual Sunday afternoon is spent with a few cups of cofee at a local bread & coffee factory. I like the place because it smells like coffee and baking bread, has wireless internet, and has free refills. And an added bonus would be the fact that there’s a great view of the front doors from pretty much any seat in the place. Not that the front doors are entertaining on their own… but they’re really hard to open. I have been entertained by people struggling to open the front doors for hours at a time, to be honest. There’s something really, really funny about people trying to open the doors, looking very confused, trying to find operating instructions on the wall, pushing instead of pulling, looking around for Ed McMahon and the Bloopers & Practical Jokes cameras. I’m assuming the reason for the heaviness of the doors is the really, really good ventilation system in the kitchen. It draws all of the air from the building up and out, which creates quite a strong vaccum in the room, which makes the doors REALLY hard to open. And also makes my Sunday afternoons really entertaining.
What is it about church that makes it so hard for people to open the front door? I see people struggling to get in the door at a coffee shop, and I immediately see a correlation to the church. And after laughing for a few minutes at awkward tugging and grunts of super-human strength, I’ve come up with a few things that translate. Here’s what I think…
1. People fear rejection. Whether people would say it or not, being rejected or left out or alienated is a big reason that people couldn’t open the door to a church.
2. People don’t want to seem weak. Admitting there’s a God is a sign of weakness, and nobody wants to seem weak.
3. Coffee and bread samples are NOT worth the hassle and humiliation of wrestling with the doors. (maybe this works for both the coffee shop & the church.) There’s not much the church can offer that would make up for the embarrassment of being ‘the new guy’.