A man named Squire Hughes was one of the first settlers west of the Miami River in Ohio. Being a religious man, he would ride twenty miles on horseback just to worship at the Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati. There was a problem, however, the first time he attended worship at that church. The church’s pews were the style that had a door on the outside of each one, and all those doors remained closed to Hughes when he initially walked down the church aisle. That meant that not one person from one pew was hospitable enough to open their door and invite him into their pew to sit with them.
After Hughes had walked all the way down to the front of the church, he started making his way back up the aisle. By this time, a few of the “good Christians” were feeling ashamed enough of themselves to open their doors for him, but Hughes had a temper and the damage had already been done. So, he angrily stormed back up the aisle, past all the pews, and walked out the back door.
A short time later he came back into the church, this time carrying a board he had found. He walked all the way back down to the front of the church, sat down on the board, and remained there until the end of the service. Then he picked up the board, put it on his shoulder, walked out the back door, and rode away. And what do you think happened the next time he attended that church? Every pew door was opened to him!
Have you had any visitors to your church lately? If so, how did you treat them? Did you greet them with a smiling face, a warm welcome, and a hearty, “Here, sit by me”? Or did you look at them with an upturned nose and think, “Now what are they doing here?”
Ah, the church of the “frozen chosen.” Most towns have at least one. It might be a rich church or it might be a poor church, but it’s the one where the folks have the mentality, “We’ve got our select group and we don’t need anyone else.” I’m telling you, Christian, beware of that mentality. Why? Well, first and foremost, it is highly displeasing to God because it is lethal to outreach. But second, you just never know when some Squire Hughes type might put you in your place one Sunday.