Our last Training Day was awesome. We laughed. We played. We had fun. And we also cast vision for why it is so important for each of us at Normandy to take ownership of our role in this family. I talked about Irresistible Environments and how they make people feel valued and wanted. When people come into our house we want our message to be, "God values you and so do we!"
From the time people enter our doors we are shepherding their emotions.
Statistics say that a visitor decides within the first 4 minutes of pulling into a churches parking lot if they are coming back or not. If this is true, the determining factor in deciding to come back or not is not the sermon, worship or theology, it is how the person, couple or family felt when they entered the church. From the time people enter our doors we are shepherding their emotions. We are creating an emotional bridge between the world and the kingdom of God. The church is intended to help show what God’s kingdom is going to be like. If we want to make a difference and shift someones thinking and behavior about God’s kingdom, relational bridge building is essential. One tremendous way to shepherd people's emotions is by creating irresistible environments, because irresistible environments make people feel valued and wanted.
One essential to creating an irresistible environment is the way we greet people when they enter the door. This goes for members and first time guests. God values all people. His care for us doesn’t stop when we are saved and baptized. Therefore, the vision is that all people who walk through the door at Normandy leave feeling valued and wanted because Jesus values and wants them and so should we.
The exhortation is that all who attend Normandy on a regular basis are greeters. Yes, there are specific people who dawn the red shirts and stand out at the doors to welcome our guests, but the job of greeting doesn’t end with those in red shirts. We are all called to greet those that attend Normandy. Therefore, as a church, we have to make punctuality a priority. Church starts at 5 but the ask is that we make it a priority to be at church by 4:45 each week so that we are prepared to receive others and create the irresistible environment that makes people feel valued and wanted.
Therefore, the vision is that all people who walk through the door at Normandy leave feeling valued and wanted because Jesus values and wants them and so should we.
Here is the truth, we don’t know what type of week or day a person has had when they enter our doors on Sunday. However, we know that God values and wants them and so should we. Each week you and I have the opportunity to come together and exemplify the goodness of God and show the love of God. That is an amazing opportunity! That is an opportunity we want to take advantage of because someone, somewhere did the same for us. Somewhere in our lives, a person, either through a long relationship or a meeting on the street took the time to share with us how good God is and was an example of His kindness and love to us.
One of the things that John, Preston and myself are most proud of is the way that you all love each other. You do such a great job of caring, praying and supporting one another. This is one of the marks of our church to be sure. I think that is great! Imagine the person, couple or family that pulls up on Sunday and from the moment they get out of their car to the moment they pull onto Abrams feeling valued and loved. Imagine what that would say about our church... but more importantly, imagine what that would say about our God. God values and wants each and every one of us and therefore, through irresistible environments, we want to reflect that love to others so they feel valued and wanted as well.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” - John 13:34-35