Part of the vision we had when designing and building our newest facilities was that it would be a place where our community would feel welcome...not just on Sundays. Several organizations (not directly affiliated with our church) in our community have used our church building in the past few years, and a few community groups use it on a weekly/monthly basis, including the local AA Group who meets here once a week.
As I was sitting in my office earlier today, one of the women who attends the AA came in looking for something that she thought she may have left here after their last meeting. After a quick search, she was on her way out, she stopped, turned, and said, "By the way...we just love being able to meet here...it is so nice and disabled accessible, and we just feel very comfortable and welcome here." I smiled and thanked her for sharing that with me, then she left.
That comment totally made my day...I had spent an hour or so this morning helping to clean out one of our huge storage rooms, taking for granted the space we've been given and even grumbling a little under my breath about the other work that I needed to do today. Being reminded that this is God's building and I'm partly responsible for being a good steward of it by keeping it a welcoming place for our community was a great kick in the pants from God.
I think I'll look a little differently at the handful of AA folks who meet here every week, and maybe go out of my way sometime when I see an opportunity to serve them. I am the church, and I am here for those who don't yet know God...this building is simply a tool for me to use to share God with others...