I got a colorful direct mail from a new local church, promoting their sermon series on improving family relationships. The brochure highlights the "five guarantees" of the church:
A Casual and Contemporary Atmosphere!
The Music Will be Contemporary!
Your Kids will Love It!
The Talk will be Positive and Encouraging!
You are our Guest! We want you to feel relaxed, welcomed and accepted!
As I got all dizzy with all those exclamation points, I try to look for any indication, other than the name of the church, that it's actually a "Christian Church". Well, in the mist of all the promises to make sure the readers know this is not the kind of church that is "boring" or "stiffly", I finally see the word "Bible" in the kids section, indicting that after all, the kids are going to hear some Bible stories. But nowhere is "God" nor "Jesus" even mentioned.
I got curious and checked its website. While the mission statement is still man-centered rather than God-centered, at least the doctrines seem solid. I'm praying that the brochure is more like a "bait-and-switch", lures people in and then fill them with Scriptures and the greatness of God. Though I'm not even sure if I like that approach to outreach.
Here's what I'd like a Christian church to guarantee:
We will only and always teach from the Bible.
We will remind you of the sorrow state men are in without God, and then rejoice in the mercy and grace that our glorious God freely gives through Christ Jesus.
While we bask in God's mercy and grace, we understand the seriousness of sins and therefore we will exhort you to a live a holy life.
Our worship will focus on God. Not so much as "what God can do for me" type, but meditating on and praising God's wonderful attributes.
And yes, we do want you to feel welcomed and accepted. But more importantly, we want you to grow in your faith and depth of your relationship with God.
And moreover, no overuse of exclamation points in our brochures!