You have to turn the doorknob on my front door to the left to get it to open. For some reason, it does not work to the right, and everyone in our family learned to turn it left.
My wife and I keep an extra refrigerator in our garage filled with drinks like various sodas, water, sports drinks, and teas. Everyone who comes to our house is more than welcome to grab anything they want to drink at any time.
I could spend several pages listing all the unique rules to our house. None of these things are written down anywhere. Yet everyone who lives there knows them and follows the rules.
Then a guest comes, and sometimes we forget to tell them these things. They will sit quietly waiting for something to drink with their meal. They will struggle to get in and out of our front door. Suddenly we recognize they don’t know our rules and fill them in.
Every community of people has unwritten rules about life and behavior. This is a big problem in the Church. When guests check out our worship and seek to learn more about the Lord, these rules will make them feel like unwanted outsiders.
One goal of every Church should be to make guests feel welcome. Sometimes this comes through handshakes and polite conversations. Other times it comes from eliminating the unwritten rules and treating everyone like an insider.