Book Review: People are the Mission

It has been a joy to serve as part of our Greeter Team at Cedarcrest Church for the past year or so.  Serving on this team has stretched me a bit.  I tend to be an extroverted introvert and see that play out when my heart starts beating a little faster when someone I don’t know comes up to start a conversation with me.  This has been a good stretching!  Particularly when I consider that the way that I greet a guest is a HUGE part of ultimately sharing the gospel with them.  People are the Mission: How Churches can Welcome Guests without Compromising the Gospel by Danny Franks (Summit Church) is a great resource for anyone who wants to grow in their ability to really help people understand what it means to be hosted and welcomed in the name of Christ.

I highlighted several things while reading and have posted those notes below…

  • We don’t strive to excel in hospitality because it brings people back to our church, but because it best reflects how Christ treated us. Location: 120
  • Your church’s preaching and worship styles may draw a crowd, but to keep a crowd, people must sense that you love them, that you expected them, and that you can’t wait for them to return. Location: 129
  • Don’t label people as visitors, honor them as guests. As Gary McIntosh wisely puts it, “There is a difference. . . . Visitors are often unwanted; guests are expected. Visitors just show up; guests are invited. Visitors are expected to leave; guests are expected to stay. Visitors come one time; guests return again.”3 Location: 205
  • No matter where you fall on the scale, someone believes you’re somewhere different on the scale than where you believe you are. Location: 266
  • Honoring the stranger doesn’t stand at odds with honoring the Savior. People are indeed the mission that Christ has called us to, and if we focus on people, we can help people focus on the gospel. Location: 297
  • I’m not sure when it became fashionable to get our collective jumpers in a bunch over every potential disagreement that’s out there. Location: 355
  • In an age of outrage, we’ve forgotten the subtle, fragrant aroma of graciousness. Location: 403
  • If people are the mission, then dealing with those objections and offenses are all a part of the mission. Location: 449
  • if we are ministering to our guests out of a gospel-centric mind-set, we won’t just react. We’ll lead with grace in an attempt to demonstrate the kindness of Jesus. Location: 470
  • Flashy programs and sparkly Sundays will only last so long. As pastor and author Mark Dever says, “What you win them with is likely what you’ll win them to.” Location: 610
  • Seek to create the kind of environment where your guests will say, “I don’t necessarily agree with what I heard, but I’ll never forget how graciously I was treated.” That hospitality-soaked environment can eventually turn cold hearts warm and lead people to Christ. Location: 634
  • Biblical hospitality doesn’t need a spot on the staff organizational chart or a line in the annual budget to thrive. Simply take God’s kindness toward you and begin translating that into the lives of others. Location: 915
  • Next steps. What happens after the service? Where does a guest go if they have more questions? Who does a person talk to if they need prayer or want to make a decision? Do you have clear action steps from the sermon? Do you know what you want guests to do as a result of their first visit? How do they know what you want for them? Location: 963
  • What we’ve had to learn is that our resources may get us in the door, but only humility and persistent service will lead to a relationship. And many times it is that relationship that causes our neighbors to pursue a greater relationship with Jesus many months or even many years later. Location: 1,241
  • We Should Not Choose between “Go and Tell” and “Come and See.” Do Both. Location: 1,659
  • When I’m engaged in my day-to-day, weekly responsibilities, I sometimes forget the reason behind the activity. We can polish the experience and look for ways to improve our systems, but in doing so we can also miss the mission. Location: 1,770
  • Jesus commissioned us to make disciples. He commanded us to preach the gospel and point to the cross. He demonstrated what it means to call sinners to repentance. And when we forget this, our bells and whistles just become smoke and mirrors. Location: 1,777
  • Andy Stanley warns that the gravitational pull of the church is always toward insiders. Location: 1,968
  • To preach the gospel to yourself, then, means that you continually face up to your own sinfulness and then flee to Jesus through faith in His shed blood and righteous life. . . . You can be sure of one thing, though: When you set yourself to seriously pursue holiness, you will begin to realize what an awful sinner you are. And if you are not firmly rooted in the gospel and have not learned to preach it to yourself every day, you will soon become discouraged and will slack off in your pursuit of holiness. Location: 2,007
  • If people are the mission, we must stick to the mission. But how do we keep the mission central to all that we do? By relentlessly, unapologetically, and consistently putting our own agendas to death in pursuit of a greater vision and purpose. Location: 2,094
  • seeking the lost forces us to remember that there is always room at the table. Location: 2,535
  • What we do on the weekend has echoes in eternity. Souls are at stake that are far more valuable than our cherished traditions, our personal preferences, our comfort zones, or our older-brotherness. Location: 2,551
  • People were the mission of Jesus, and people are still our mission today. Let’s love them because we understand just how much he has loved us. Location: 2,566
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