I had a crazy dream this week! What was it? You'll have to come tomorrow morning to hear about (cliffhanger/hook- CHECK). I awoke thinking about what it will be like for those who arrive on Resurrection Sunday as our guests.
- For some, it is COMPLETELY new- We are living in a secular culture. Each year the number of those who've never attended a church in their lifetime rises in America. Yes, my friends, you are reading that right. Can you imagine having never been to church or having ever heard about Christ outside of swearing or generic talk? We will have guests next week that have NO CLUE how "Church Service" works. If you spot someone you don't recognize and looks a little dazed, make it your mission to speak with them. Go further even and ask if you can sit with them. Go further and invite them to some activity outside of church. Let's risk them leaving annoyed at how overly interested we are in them. :)
- For others, it is new to THEM- We hope that the Spirit will stir those who are disenfranchised from a local church. Regularly people get saved but don't get incorporated into a local body using their gifts and growing in their faith. Others give into temptations due to being hurt or having their expectations disappointed. Rather than grow in faith and grace, they depart. If you see some guests who seem to "know what goes on at church", strike up a conversation and seek to introduce them to your Bible Study leader.
- For others, they are regular attendees or even professing members but they've given over to doubt and haven't assembled at Faith in a long time- It happens in every church....people who claim to be disciples of Christ but have indulged their flesh and forsaken the assembly. What should our response be when they show up next week? Kindness and firmness. When you see one, emphasize how glad you are to see them and tell them you'd like to see them at Bible Study/Growth Group/Sunday night, etc. Give them an actionable item.
As a variety of guests will be with us, let us follow our Savior's lead- kindness and firmness, addressing each individual where they are at in relation to Him. May each of us, as members of Christ's body, be proactive towards these people groups.