You Are Welcome Here

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Have you ever been someplace where you didn’t feel welcome?

Didn’t seem to fit?

Felt out of place?

Maybe it was an overpriced store or a fancy restaurant with food you couldn’t pronounce.

Maybe it was a sporting event, family get-together, or possibly even a church service.

Wherever it may have been, you left feeling like you would have to change to fit in.

As a teenager, I spent some time living with a family from my church.

They were a kind and generous family who agreed to take me in when I needed it, and for that I will always be thankful.

They did however have one rule that I struggled with…

My older brother was not allowed at their house.

Because of the decisions he was making at the time and the way he was choosing to live his life – he was not welcome in their home.

This was incredibly difficult for me.

While I knew I needed to obey their rule, I couldn’t understand it.

They looked at my brother and could only see the mistakes he was making and the sin that he carried – all I could see was the brother I loved.

I decided way-back-then that I wouldn’t allow myself to judge people for things they have done or push them away until they made a change.

Instead I simply try my best to love people the way Jesus does.

The reason DJ and I decided years ago to join the team at NWLife Church and to raise our family here, is because this truly is a place where everyone is welcome.

My pastor recently said in a staff meeting  “We need to accept people as they are, where they are, and for who they are long before we ever hope to see any change in their lives.”

These are not simply words we say, but a standard we live by.

Everyone is welcome at NWLife – no matter what you’ve been through, what you struggle with, or where you come from.

We are a “come as you are” church.

We don’t expect people to change to fit some standard we see as acceptable before they are welcomed in.

We just want to love people like Jesus does.

Because when God looks at one of His sons or daughters, He doesn’t see the mistakes they’ve made or the sin they carry – He sees the child He loves.

He welcomes them into His family – regardless.

And at NWLife, we will always do the same.