Do We Really?
So his master said, 'Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. Luke 14:23 (NLT)
Had lunch today with my bride. Parked my trusty Fiero out towards the end of student parking, because the visitors parking is limited to 30 minutes. Enjoyed my lunch, but when I returned to the car, found a parking ticket because I didn't have an OWC sticker. Drat.
So where is a visitor supposed to park? Or are all visitors limited to 30 minutes on campus? Inquiring minds would ask if visitors were expected or welcomed. I know that's not the case, but apparently someone never thought through the problem, probably because it wasn't a problem to them.
Rode back to the church, and on our sign was this statement: "Turned off by church but not by God? Check us out"
After my experience at OWC, I'm a little afraid of that quip. What if they come? Will they be turned off again?
The average church-goer thinks about as much about the barriers that churches put between seekers and God as a fish thinks about water. Since they have always been there - they know where everything is. Since they've always worshipped in a particular fashion - they can't understand why newbies don't get it. Since they've always used "Christian-ese" to describe the things of God - they are dumbfounded when someone says "but what does that mean?"
Do we really want seekers to "check us out"?
If we do, then we'll have to be true to deliver the message of the apostles delivered once and for all, while making sure the places and methods we deliver it with don't confuse, frustrate, or obstruct God's desire to bring them to Him.
5 minutes after I wrote this, I got an email from a lady on the mailing list who works for the president of OWC. She asked to be dropped from the list.
There's a message there somewhere. :)
This devotional is written by David Wilson, pastor of New Hope Baptist church in Valparaiso, FL. If you find you have received this via a forward and would like to receive it regularly, or find you no longer wish to receive it, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll make the change to the list. If you'd like to know more about New Hope, visit our website at www.newhopevalp.org . May God bless you.