This past weekend I attended my nephew’s wedding deep in the heart of Texas.
The hotel we stayed at had recently gone through some renovations, and they were very proud of the changes they had made. One of the changes was to the bathroom door in their rooms. Instead of the usual door, theirs was a hanging “barn-style” door that rolled open and shut. When the door was open to the bathroom, it became the door to the cutout closet adjacent to the bathroom. When the door closed off the entrance to the bathroom, it opened the closet. It was pretty cool.
The door to the hotel room itself was a different story. All hotels that I have stayed in have a return on the door so powerful that the door closes itself all the way. When you walk out of your room, you can hear the door close and lock all on its own.
But not this one.
This hotel’s doors returned to the jamb but did not close all the way and latch. So, when walking down the hallway, you could see many of the doors still open because people were not expecting to have to pull the door shut.
This struck me as odd because, while this hotel went out of their way to install a creative, trendy, and eye-catching door to the bathroom, they failed to install a basic hotel door to the room that works in the way we all expect hotel doors to work.
Yesterday my wife and I tried out a new restaurant in town that specializes in breakfast and lunch. We had been waiting for it to open and were excited for the opportunity to try it out.
The environment was great but the food didn’t match it.
It was too trendy.
So trendy that the “fashion statement” ingredients got in the way of the overall quality and taste of the meal.
They tried so hard to be out of the norm and fancy, thus setting themselves apart (above?) from other restaurants, that they didn’t get the basics right.
I mean, sometimes a guy just wants a good-tasting omelette and doesn’t care whether or not someone in France might be impressed by it. Can I get an “amen”?!
This brings me to church.
Like the hotel and the restaurant, sometimes a church can get so caught up in trends that it fails to get the basics right.
Sometimes churches get so excited about the glitz and glamour, social media buzz and hype, bells and whistles that they think creating something that is “bigger and better” or having a “show” that rivals Disney is the ticket to drawing people into a lasting relationship with Jesus Christ.
And in the long-term, these churches fail.
Because making Jesus known and helping others become disciples of Jesus Christ have always been about the basics.
The basics of authentic relationships, sharing the story of Jesus, reading Scripture with others, inviting friends and neighbors to church and helping them process their experience, serving those in need, coming alongside the hurting with the love of Christ, living out the gospel for others to see, praying that the will of God be done on earth as it is in heaven.
It’s how the church has always grown in size and impact.
Let’s not get so caught up in making a splash that we fail to make a difference.
Let’s not get so excited about the pomp and circumstance that we fail to take the gospel to the rank and file.
Let’s not get so enamored by “the lights” and “the likes” that we fail to be the light of the world in our schools, offices, neighborhoods, and homes.
Let’s get back to the basics.