Friday, 24 February 2012

Hotel or House?

I was listening to a message a couple of weeks by a fantastic Australian pastor Danny Guglielmucci. He threw out an off the cuff question to his staff team which really challenged me. Are we building a place of visitation or habitation for God. This will probably have me thinking for some time, but I thought I might throw a few things down to see where it goes.

There is a distinct difference between setting up a place for someone who is coming to visit and for someone who lives there.

1. Visitors- you want to create an immediate impression so appearances are vital.
Residents- the long term improvement is your focus.

2. Visitors- you are only concerned about visitors while they are with you.
Residents- even when residents are not with you' they are still in your thoughts.

3. Visitors- you are not always that worried if they come back.
Residents- You would be worried if they were not there for any length of time.

4. Visitors- they do not leave a lasting impression your house.
Residents- everything in the house will remind you of them because they have put their touch on the house.

5. Visitors- are not really at home because it is not really their home if they only visit occasionally.
Residents- it is where they live and feel at home.

6. Visitors- you do not have to have any significant relationship to welcome a visitor.
Residents- when you live with someone your relationship grows and develops. You get to know them more.

I don't want our church community to have a visitation from God, I want Him to find a place of habitation. I want Him to feel at home, that He is not visiting a hotel but knows He can do what He likes because He is the head of the house.
Anyway just a few thoughts. I'm sure there are many more.
I would love you to leave your comments and add some more differences.


  1. Good thoughts Jon, its great to see/read you sharing your heart and being so open for discussion.
    I guess the key thing is that we need to remember that what we are building should be what God wants us to build right now at this time, being open to change and correction when we aren't building in the way that he wants us to, such a challenge. I believe that he has called each and every church body to be a unique reflection of his character. Unique in the way that they reach and seek to grow the people that that body comes into contact with. It may be similar to another body, but it will be unique because the people that are part of that body are unique. We have a colourful God! One of the difficult things I find is that whatever our church looks like, we can always be reaching every person as well as we might like.
    Bless you Jon and the church you are leading :-)

  2. I know I don't attend your church Jon & Dee, but I have enjoyed reading this- very refreshing. I think it goes both ways, we want God to live with us in our lives and also in our church on a corporate basis rather than being a 'visitor'. I think this also also goes for the members of the church both individually and as a whole as well. We would miss them if they are not there and grow concerned if they hadnt attended in a while. Church should feel like home as well- being part of a wider family with God at the head. With God and members being at home and living in the same house together, the church makes stronger/firmer roots and grows and develops as a whole.

    I once attended a large church when I first moved to London where the emphasis was largely towards making visitors welcome on a weekly basis to the point that regulars often felt very unwelcome/unwanted. Making visitors welcome is important as we never know whether that might be their first foray into seeking God for the first time in their life and may actually encourage them to return one day. However as you say making God and members feel at home and grow together is essential.

    Thank you for this post- I hope its ok to contribute even though I don't attend or live in Newcastle. It sounds like you do have an amazing vision for your church. God bless. Emma Giles

    1. Hey Emma, long time no speak. Hope life is treating you well. Of course its fine to contribute. Thanks for your thoughts.