If you go to a church somewhere, please read this.
Close your eyes and picture yourself in your church service. Actually, don’t close your eyes because then you can’t read the next instructions… Anyway, picture yourself in your church service on any given weekend service. The music is happening, people are worshiping. Look to your left, then look to your right, look in front of you and behind you. See who is there. And then look to see who isn’t there.
Now get out something to write with. If someone in front of you, beside you, or behind you is no longer going to church, but still lives in the area, write their name down.
*Imagine Jeopardy-ish music playing in the background as I wait for you to write the names down…*
*Seriously, write them down*
Ok, that was step one. You are doing great.
Think about that person for a second. Remember some of their great qualities. Are they funny? Understanding? Kind? Passionate about things? Did they have a sarcastic sense of humor that you admired?
Now, this is step two, and it is likely it will mean stepping right out of your comfort zone.
Invite them. I don’t mean to church (although that is great too… I want you to do that too, but maybe try this first). Invite them to your house. Invite them to meet you for lunch somewhere. Invite them to coffee. Invite them for a walk at the park. And give yourself a deadline for initially getting in touch with them, like 1 week. (I promise it will be so much easier after the first time).
Get involved in their life. There is a great phrase going around called “Doing life together.” Just inviting someone to church can work, but this is more of how God intended it.
God created us to be a community, whether we like it or not. (For a somewhat-introvertish person like myself, it can be a struggle). But life is so much better when you share it with other people.
In Acts chapter 2, we meet the first church. We see what made them who they were. Take a look for yourself…
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. “(NIV)
While the needs of the first church might be a little different than today’s church, it sounds like God wants us to be around people. Have dinner with them. Help them. Give to them. Praise God, talk about God, and be excited about God with them.
This post isn’t meant to guilt you into being friends with someone. Nobody wants to be your friend because you feel guilty. This is meant to remind you of the people you already know and want to be friends with. You like them. You miss them. This post is encouraging you to do something about it.
Also, if you don’t know of anyone missing at your church that you could get reconnected with, find someone who still goes there that you would be sad to lose contact with and do something with them. We need each other.
And if you don’t go to church anywhere, but you read this anyway, try going to one. Preferably mine J
Hope to see you Sunday
Huntington First Church of the Nazarene
321 30th Street
Huntington, WV 25702