I have three children. Have you ever tried to hide or get away from your kids when you don’t want to share space or food? You’ve never locked yourself in the bathroom for a few minutes of peace and quiet? You’ve never waited until the children were asleep to eat cookies? I once ate the cookies in the bathroom! But, they find you!! No matter where you are or what you’re doing, they find you. Why because they know you love them and that you have something they want or need.
Catch the key point here though: The already know they are loved and cared for because they have experienced that. So, if you are near them, they gather around.
This would not happen if I never interacted with them on their terms though. I built up that image in them by being among them in THEIR space so much that they eventually always wanted to be in MY space. They choose to gather around me when I’m around because I chose to go among them where they were before they knew any better.
That is us as the church. People will gather around us everywhere we go if they know they are loved and cared for and if they know we’ve got something amazing for them.
Eventually, yes, some will want to be a part “our group”, but THAT IS NOT THE GOAL OF THE CHURCH! The goal of the church is to help transform this world by proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ, by making those IN the church disciples in his name and going out as disciples to heal the broken parts of this world.
So, what do I want you to do?
I want us to commit to stop playing dead with the church and start drawing crowds where ever we go.
I want you to commit to helping in some way in your church or community over the next few months. It’s not just going to be one thing. It’s going to be a series of things. But, everything we do has to be amazing, and it needs to be done with the spirit of outreach. Yes, we want people to come to us, but that is not why we exist.
Long gone are the days where the church building was only seen as the place where people gather. Build it and they will come no longer works. Indeed, it’s more like, “Gather your hurting and the Church will come to you!”