I love leaders who get it. Who understand the win. Who realize that the role of our weekend First Impressions team isn’t just to pour coffee or park cars, but to pave the way for the gospel.

Two of our leaders helped demonstrate this last Sunday in a meeting with our volunteer team. Clayton Greene & Anna Chambless were asked to lead our weekly training / collaboration gathering, and after the introduction they stood.

With their backs to the crowd.


Facing the wall.

For what seemed like an eternity.

Finally, one of the volunteers said, “Um, this is a bit awkward.” And with all the panache of Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society, Clayton spun around and said, “EXACTLY! It IS awkward! And somebody does that every single week to at least one of our guests!”

Clayton is right, of course. All of us – paid staff, volunteers, Joe Church Members – have been guilty at one point or another of setting up a “they” vs. “we” culture. “They” interrupt the conversations that “we” are having. “They” inconvenience the morning that “we” have imagined will run problem-free.

And when “we” ignore the needs of “they,” “they” will find someplace else to go.

Or not go anywhere at all.

Because “we” missed an opportunity.

Whether we have our backs to a guest or simply overlook a need that they have, we fail to display the extravagant generosity of the gospel. Generosity doesn’t just come when we give a first time guest a gift or a cup of coffee. Generosity is displayed by the way we selflessly include our guests, making “they” a “we.” By turning outsiders into insiders. By taking a stranger and making them family.

What awkward moments have you created at church? What moments have made you feel awkward? Comment below.