I'm not the most on-time person in the world, so I have to be careful here, but I want to address getting into our worship gatherings on time, at least more of the time. I know the reason most of you walk in late is because you're in the Commons/Lobby talking to friends. That's a pretty good reason to walk in late, and sometimes that conversation should be the higher priority. But I want to give you permission to interrupt most of those conversations and say, "Let's finish this conversation after the service because the service is about to start." For our part, I've asked our Worship Arts leaders to give us a bit more of a musical cue that our corporate worship is about to start so we can extricate ourselves from not-so-urgent conversations and head to the Worship Center.
Here's why this is important. Over the coming weeks, we're going to be doing more to "call" our congregation to worship. Most weeks it takes some time and effort for most of us to engage in worship. Engagement is our personal responsibility. But as leaders, we need to do more to help you engage. When the majority come in late (and that's not an exaggeration), they miss out on the call to worship and they distract those that are seeking to engage in worship. When only a few people come in late, it's not so disruptive. So if we all make an effort to come into the worship gathering on time more of the time, maybe we'll go from a majority coming in late to just a reasonable trickle of latecomers.