On Saturday the fam and I decided to get out of the house. We made a stop at the library (where Michelle actually met a new woman and set a playdate with her (for the kids of course) this week!) and then went on to a toy store near here that has a train set and lots of toys for the kids to try and break so we have to buy them.
After following Ayla around the store aimlessly for about 45 minutes I figured it was about time to go. We put our coats on and headed out the door. As we exited into the cold Chicago (well, technically Chicago area) afternoon a few people walked briskly by us and shoved something into Michelle’s hand. The guy who forced the leaflet into her hand didn’t say anymore than a gruff “here.” With two kids to juggle and a diaper bag we didn’t have a chance to look at it until we were on the way home.
You can probably guess what it was for–a new church opening in a theater in the area. It looked nice, very professionally done, but I couldn’t help thinking this trio was going to do more harm than good on their pamphlet-distributing mission. If we were people seeking a faith community (which is who they seemed to be targeting) I can’t imagine we’d check this one out. Professional advertising still doesn’t outdo friendliness and service. Imagine if one of them had offered to carry our diaper bag to the car and actually interacted with us like regular humans! That might have compelled someone to check out their church, but their manner on Saturday probably wouldn’t do much more than further ingrain some negative stereotypes of Christians. Perhaps the most ironic part was that the slogan on the brochure was “No Perfect People Allowed,” maybe they were just trying to live out their slogan.
The point is, following Christ through kindness and compassion will speak far more to people than the flash and presentation of our gathering places. And I think Jesus would be far more concerned with the former as well.