Forced into it or invited into it?
Today, I received a phone message from a caring adult about her relative. They are new to the area and she wants her to get plugged into church. I think this is awesome but what surprised me was in the details of getting to know more about the girl.
The adult wanted her to:
1. get plugged into some wholesome people. I thought.. we are all saved by grace.. and do we qualify for wholesome? Probably not!
2. get some church and youth group in since the girl was forced to go in the previous location. I thought… wow, being forced to do something can produce good results but there has to be a different way of ministering, getting the student there outside of force.
3. getting them to be a member… I again had a thought… just because we are members of something, doesn’t mean we are on the team, committed fully to that cause or team or church or work place.
I blog this conversation today, not because I think negative of this person and her situation but because we all have the potential to fall into her shoes. I wanted to challenge us all to be more intentional with our faith journey, don’t allow someone to force you into faith but work it out in your own terms by actively pursuing it with the support of others. Please don’t allow your church, youth group or etc attendance be an after thought due to a move or situation but an intentional pursuit to get plugged in. This might mean trying several church options for a few weeks, but land and get planted some place.
Please don’t be the person in church or faith that says come join us, only to shun or outcast them when they do arrive.
My wife was out of town a couple weeks ago helping a friend and decided to attend the church across the street. She was received well into the service, was ministered to and challenged by the sermon, enjoyed the worship. The cool part came after the service. She went to the information booth for visitors and had a great conversation about the church, met the speaking pastor and received a shirt for coming. Yeah that was a big win… but it gets better. She received a nice thank you for coming card in the mail along with a gift card to UDF for some ice cream or whatever she wanted. This church isn’t expecting her to come back but wanted to say thank you for coming.
I reflect over my years of church life and think.. how many more people would be in church today if the church did a better job of getting them plugged in.
I intend to be more intentional on getting students plugged in