Do you remember the old, epic movie about Noah? Noah had built the ark, being laughed at and taunted all along the way. But when the rains came and and God shut the great door, people began to run to the ark and pound on the walls to get in, crying as they realized they needed to be aboard that ark. As a child that scene was scary to me, but also showed me the importance of the church, being an lifeboat to drowning people, something I have never forgot.
Our church has an incredible ministry called the doorkeepers. Doorkeepers greet people as they enter church on Sundays, get to know the new families, and introduce new people to others in the church and pray with them. It is a big responsibility to help new people adjust and become part of the church family on Sunday mornings and also build relationships with them outside of the church doors throughout the week. Their job is really to be lifeline, pulling people into the safety of the church. I believe it is among the most important ministries within the church. Our church is filled with loving people who find relationship to be very important, yet it takes work to be in those loving relationships. This ministry creates the atmosphere to be able to build these type of relationships. It is, in the end, a way to see people saved and to grow, both new people entering the church for the first time and also for those who do the doorkeeper work, to be stretched as they continually encounter new people, which is scary for many people to do.
I attended a doorkeeper meeting last week, trying to learn more, to be able to bring this needed ministry to other parts of our church I am involved in. As I listened, I began to think about The Noah movie and that scene. The picture I had was of one of Noah's sons helping other family members as the ran onto the ark. This is what the doorkeepers do, help others board the ark. I began to think of my own place in our church family, while I am not officially a doorkeeper I must have their attitude of building relationships at all times. I know I must not function independently of this or any ministry in the church. We must all depend on each others strengths and weaknesses to grow. But if I am not a doorkeeper than what am I? I guess I find myself being more of a dooropener than a doorkeeper. Someone who gets out in front and creates new doors for people to enter and others to keep. I believe churches often get focused on the front doors of the church and forget that people are banging on the walls all around the Church desperate to get in, we just need to make doors for them to come in and have people there to keep those doors and help them in. Many times our attitude is negative, believing we need to find ways just to get people near the ark, but the reality is that people are drowning and are desperately looking for loving relationships which reflect the love of Jesus so they can be saved. If we can create doors, keep the doors, and train new keepers and openers, our church family will grow, each of us more like Jesus, focused on saving some more.
It says in John 9, that our time is limited,the day is coming when we will not be able to save any more, when God will shut the door on the ark. Lets get as many aboard as we can before that day, because its raining now, and people are pounding on our walls. Are we there, ready to throw them a rope and pull them in?