I don't know where the quote originated from but I like it: "The church is one of, if not the only organization that exists for the good of its non-members."
While I like the quote, I wonder how many churches and church people embrace that thinking?
This year, as a church, we developed an initiative (we typically focus our attention as a church on one or two key things each year). Our initiative for this year is "developing a God-dependent passion for those who aren't here yet."
There are several reasons why we chose this, but I'll tell you one of the biggies. When left to themselves, even good churches drift into thinking about themselves.
Sure, you could say, "well aren't they God-followers/Christians? Isn't a church's MO supposed to be about 'others'?" And yes you'd be right, but remember, Christians are people and people like what's familiar, comfortable and fits them.
So what tends to happen is people in churches talk about the music style they prefer, the programs they want for their family and the topics they'd like to discuss. That tends to happen, but it doesn't have to.
As a church, we've chosen to look close and carefully at what Jesus was about and what Jesus did and said. And it's pretty clear, Christians, followers of Jesus are to care deeply about those who aren't here yet. And we take that to mean we need to even be willing to step out of our comfort zones, our preferences, for the sake of those who matter to God.
I'm not here to comment on any church, besides our own -- so I can tell you that the events and things we are working on, we're doing with you, who has not yet joined us, in mind. We know that people, not just "church people" but "people" like Christmas music at Christmas time.
We don't need another event to do, but we want to see people like you join us at Christmas -- so in addition to the regular favorites like a Christmas service on Decembet 23rd and a Christmas Eve service on the 24th -- we're putting on a free creative holiday musical experience called "The Songs of Christmas" (Dec 15-16 @ 5pm) It's not because we want it, but because we want to meet you.
We are doing a sermon series entitled "Jesus." Why? You guessed it... because skeptics, former church people, normal people, AND Christians all seem to be intrigued and interested in who Jesus is/was, what He taught (and didn't teach), what He did, what He valued etc etc. These aren't church questions, but "people" questions.
Series starting Dec. 9 on propheciies
So beginning on Dec. 9th we're going to start with the prophecies and predictions of Jesus and then each week share a snap shot from His life and teaching. Every week we'll share another piece of Jesus life from December through Easter Sunday when we'll talk about the resurrection. In just 3-4 months you'll be able to get one of the most clear and compelling pictures of who Jesus is/ was etc. We're doing this for those who aren't here yet.
While we're all still learning and growing -- we don't want to become self focused and miss out on great people who matter to God and who would benefit from a movement like the one we're a part of.
I personally would love to meet you and I hope the fact that you read this whole blog, says, you might be slightly interested in showing up---I really hope you will --- we are building this place for you and people like you!