Today’s Devotional Tidbit – December 18, 2005
You Gotta Look Like Me!
I Corinthians 9:22
Last week I spoke of a pagan woman. She says grace before she eats and I have no idea who she is thanking. The point I took from our chance meeting is that people are different. Most people today can no longer be reached by simply singing “Jesus Loves Me.” People really need to see Jesus working in their lives through the loving acts of individual Christians or congregations. I’ve spoken about this once before. But after a recent conversation with a leader of a small congregation, I felt more needed to be said on this topic.
I expressed an idea to the church leader about how their building could be rented from
noon -2pm for a new congregation which doesn’t yet have a building. This was suggested as an idea to reach unchurched people. This would occur at some point in the future. This was nothing I would be involved with personally; I was just planting a seed with that church leader. Those to be reached, would be folks that see no relevance of Jesus Christ to their lives. These would be people that would not attend a typical 9:30 a.m. Bible class and 10:30 a.m. worship service. The services of this new congregation would begin with a meal each week around noon, followed by a casual worship time with more contemporary singing, and a good gospel message (although maybe shorter than a typical sermon). The only meeting time at the building would be Sundays from noon-2:00 p.m. Other meeting times would be mid-week small groups, service projects, and various other fellowship events. This congregation would in no way interfere with the current one meeting there. It may even reach out to folks who would gravitate toward the smaller congregation that typically meets in the building, which caters to a more traditional crowd. In this way, both congregations could be used to increase the kingdom of God.
The argument against such an idea was, “If people don’t want to come worship with us (our congregation) and don’t like the things we do, then they don’t need to use our building.” I explained that the congregation would be made up, for the most part, of unchurched people. These would not be your typical early rising Sunday morning church goers. The answer to that was, “They get up early for their jobs on Monday morning. They should get up early for Jesus too. There’s something wrong with the society if they won’t get up early.” I sort of agreed with that assumption but tried to explain we have to reach out to people at the place they currently reside in their thoughts and beliefs. Paul did it, why shouldn’t we? Church leaders must not assume that people who don’t go to church, will one day arise thinking, “I want to be a traditional church member today. Where’s the closest church door I can break down so I can hear the gospel message of Jesus Christ?” Excuse my improper English but, “It ain’t gonna happen!”
Paul did become all things to all people so he might win some to Christ. We can do that today and still provide a powerful message concerning the good news of Christ. We can do that, even if it means our congregations meet a little later, or meet only once a week at the building, or… Oh my! I’ve rambled haven’t I? Sorry! Until next week…. I’m yours in Christ