For the longest time I would get frustrated because it seemed like we always wanted to bring people to church. It was as if church was someone’s salvation, or we thought that only the people from the pulpit could somehow teach people about the way of Jesus. This was definitely something that was insinuated in my upbringing. The way to evangelize was to bring people into the doors of the church. Because of this I think I reacted strongly in the opposite in that we can have relationships outside of the church with people and its ok not to invite them to your church service.
Oddly, I still find myself highlighting my church in conversations. When people ask me what I do, I tell them I have planted a church and I go on to tell them about it. Still, after all the negative feelings I have had toward inviting people to church, I still feel somewhat prone to brag about it. Before, when I was in youth, I would gloat about the videos and the great teaching and how much fun we would have. Now I find myself gloating about different aspects. Maybe its just how we are different, or our short films or poker night, but either way I still end up highlighting my church.
Part of me now though is starting to swing back in the other direction. I think its ok to be proud of my church. I think its ok to brag about all the fun things we do and all the things we are trying to do for the community and the reasons we are doing them. I’m proud of Jesus, so why shouldn’t I be proud of his body? Especially when his body isn’t being selfish and actually doing its job. I also think that its ok for people to be attracted to what the church is doing. If someone connects with something we are doing, whether it be our short films, acts of justice around the city or even poker night then it only makes sense for them to connect with us. God is using these interests and similiar hearts to unveil his kingdom in each other.
This post was more me speaking to myself and telling myself to relax a bit when people want to hear about the church. A while ago I’d be hesitant to say anything because I didn’t want people to be interested because of church and not because of God and this probably came from my negative experiences with the church and me growing up never wanting to bring friends to church ever. Now that people are actually interested and theStory is actually an attractive place to be and I’m proud to be a member and not ashamed it only makes sense. It only makes sense that people are attracted to a community if they are really being the body of Christ. So my suspicions for the most part are laid to rest. My fear of people being attracted to church before god is unwarranted because if they are attracted to the church, it’s because God is found all throughout it.