We enjoyed visiting several castles on our trip to the U.K.. Our favorite castle was in Wales. Llanstefan Castle was built around 1100 by the Normans. Now it sits empty. After hiking about a half mile in the rain to get to it, we had a great time exploring the ancient ruins.
Castles have a unique function in history. Castles were meant to be a protection FOR the surrounding villages from the enemies coming from afar. When the enemies would march or sail towards the castle, the neighboring villagers filled up the castle where the local lord or monarch lived. The castle was supposed to be a refuge for others in the area.
Castles were not meant to be a protection FROM the surrounding villages.
Too often our churches have a castle mentality. We try to protect ourselves from the world rather than to become a place of refuge for the world. The people around us are not our enemy. They are the reason we are here! The Enemy is the enemy not the people he has confused and enslaved.
Is your church a shelter FROM the world our a shelter FOR the world?