We are all just people. The Bible is full of real examples of stubborn people, unwilling to change. When and how did you first arrive at the conclusion Jesus’ Church was a place for you? I know many who grew up with wonderful childhood experiences worshipping God with their family in the local church. Other people (like myself) delayed coming to understand God was for everybody until young adult life.
However we arrived at the front door of any local church gathering, my guess, it was a bit of a “learning curve” discovering HOW to follow God. At first glance, to me, it appeared to be a lot of rules, regulations, and expectations with unfamiliar protocol regarding dress codes and proper manners. Truthfully, I didn’t much care for it; not initially. Let me explain.
Most everyone I met initially (church insiders) had good intentions for helping me (church outsider) understand more fully what it was like to pursue God. To be honest though, it felt more like my High School Algebra/Chemistry teacher trying to explain complicated math formulas or chemical reactions from the element chart. Maybe I didn’t try hard enough. Maybe I was distracted. Maybe I wasn’t ready.
At any rate, I just didn’t get it. I just didn’t get church stuff. Not initially. I wasn’t very interested in learning either.
People I meet with today who have no church experiences seem to be surprised when I explain, God is for everybody (John 3:16). I wonder if maybe people with no Church connection have decided KNOWNG GOD is too much to navigate. Like me trying to figure out Algebra and Chemistry for the first time. What if people really, just don’t get it?
I have a suggestion. Guide someone you know without a church connection to check out a modern day media website with tons of stories about Jesus and people like us. Jesus is presented in ways that most non-church persons will not feel like they’ve been handed an Algebra/Chemistry book for solving hard problems. Hey, you may even want to check out the website for yourself. HEGETSUS.COM
What if the people we are bumping into these days, who haven’t given church a try, just don’t get it?
This is where YOU and I come into the story of Jesus. As a minster/pastor and anyone else who is a follower of Jesus, WE are there to help guide someone else. I promise you I would never have passed High School Algebra/Chemistry if my teacher had not stayed after class tutoring me for a passing grade. I am forever grateful.
Our Thanksgiving 2023 message is a little different this year. I have with purpose chosen to highlight a regular message shared at Journey. IT’S NICE TO BE NICE. The context I will share is from Jesus instructions (Matthew 9:35-38) to faithful disciples for helping other people become followers too.
Invite someone who doesn’t have a regular church connection to our Journey Thanksgiving 2023 weekend. Help them and nudge them a little bit. Buy them a burger or cup of coffee and just BE NICE. Explain this is not like learning hard math formulas and chemical reactions in school. They will be forever grateful you helped them understand Jesus is for everybody.
Just try it. Just follow Jesus…. It’s Nice to be Nice!