I have a gym membership. I meet a pastor friend twice a week and work out just hard enough to feel good. But that’s another story. On Monday this week my friend and I were noticing the signs posted all over the gym: No Judgment Zone You belong No Gymtimidation And one of us said to the other, “Why aren’t these signs posted in our churches?” OK, the last one doesn’t exactly fit, but the first two do fit. And I’d add a third, “No Shame Zone.” It’s not that there is no Judgement. It’s that judgment is God’s job, not ours. Our job is to encourage, promote, and enable healing and health. Our job is to love people more fully into life. (And in my book, both of these grow faith.) This cannot happen if people are not totally certain they belong, have a place, and are safe. Because healing takes hard work and honest self-examination. That's scary work most of us will not enter into unless we are sure we will be safe. Without that, we won't do this work any more than we would jump out of an airplane without a parachute. Because healing always takes place in a supportive, understanding, grace-filled, encouraging community.
Hey, church council, what do you think? Should we put up these signs?
Pastor Mark Walters