It may not take a lot of vision or energy to throw a door open to familiar faces and similar histories. It does, however, take some intentional fortitude and an aggressive perspective to get off your island and introduce yourself to neighbors you just don’t know and invite them to what they may not expect.
We climbed onboard our church bus Saturday afternoon with a simple brochure to pass out and inform our neighbors of our Saturday night worship service that includes a meal. The worship experience known as Safe Harbor came from a calling given to a couple of our men who visit our local jail on Mondays to share the gospel. They wanted to provide a worship experience in the church for these folks when they’re released in which they can be comfortable. Though Safe Harbor has not seen a lot of these dear ones, we have seen a lot of folks who have lived hard lives, and they have found a place where they are always invited, always welcome with growing expectations of God’s love and power.
We went to two apartment complexes and a trailer park in Albertville to pass out the brochures and personally invite whomever we met. On the face of the leaflet, we printed, You Are Invited, You Are Welcome, You Are Expected. This expresses what we believe. All are invited. All are welcome. All are expected.
This is not a private club. When everyone is invited and expected to come, not all the faces will be familiar and the stories will not be similar, but the doors are open and the grace is abundant.
Everyone that went carried with them an obvious desire to invite people to Safe Harbor at Hewett UMC. The passion was outwardly expressed was smiles and joy. This is when the church knows what it’s all about – invite’em so they encounter the God who is always good. I was proud to be with them!