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. But there was a problem the first time he attended worship at the church. The pews were the style that had a door on the outside of each pew, and as Hughes walked down the church aisle all the doors remained closed to him. Not one person from one pew was hospitable enough to open their door and invite him to sit in their pew.
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 fairly ashamed of themselves and so they opened their doors for him. But Hughes had a temper and the damage was already done. He angrily stormed back up the aisle, past all the pews, and walked out the back door.
A short time later he came back in, 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.
Had any visitors to your church lately? Well, 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 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 will put you in your place one Sunday.