Imagine that you go to a church where nobody under 6 feet tall was allowed to attend. It’s a normal church by all other standards, there is just nobody there who is less than 6 feet tall. How would that church be different than other churches? Might it start to focus on issues that taller people deal with more frequently, such as back and/or knee problems? Would that church ignore issues that shorter people have to face? Accessibility issues for little people, for instance?
Maybe the sermons at that church would start to become tailored for tall people, since short people aren’t a part of the community.
Over time, that church probably would not be as effective in reaching the community around it which is full of people who are under 6 feet tall, right? I mean, if you exclude people who live, work and play right in the community, the church stops looking like the community and then it loses its influence, right?
In order to be effective in the goal of spreading the gospel, I believe that a church must resemble the community where it is located.
Does your church look like the community it’s found in? Are the same gender ratios in your community found in your church? The same variety of color? Do you have business people and homemakers? What about homeless people? How about people with special needs?
Who is being excluded from your church family, either on purpose, or because you’re not making it reasonably possible for them to attend?
It’s human nature to be drawn to people who are similar to you. But when we do that in our churches, we create county clubs. Cliques that exists just to make us comfortable. I’m pretty sure that is NOT what Jesus meant when he told us to go into the world and make disciples.
The church should resemble the community because the more we relate and connect with them the more we bring the Kingdom of God to them.
In order to influence the local community, we must resemble it. Because a church that excludes parts of the community will find itself detached from the community as a whole. It will be ignored because it does not relate to or understand the community.
Just as a church with a height restriction would be laughable, so is one that only accepts the “best, brightest, and wealthiest” among us.