I enjoy a good movie. But what draws me in to watch it? A part of it has to do with the trailer - the short two minute clip that portrays what the movie is about. Here is where I can usually get a decent idea of whether this movie is a thumbs up or thumbs down. But what draws people into a church?
Is it the music? The preaching of the Word? The people? We have to ask, what will draw people from our neighborhood into our church?
We want to be a compelling or attractive community and not for our sake, but to make Jesus famous. I am not speaking here about outward appearance but rather the heart. So, not only should our music and preaching be centered on the Word of God but also how we live our lives. Now what does this look like? Here are several ways:
- Warm. I don’t mean the temperature of the building (although that is important). As a community of believers we need to reflect the Jesus that we proclaim. As you interact with your neighbors they should sense that you care about them and want to talk with them.
- Loving. Do you love the people around you? If you’re like me, you have trouble doing that. Ask God for forgiveness for not loving people as you have been loved, and ask Him for help. One way you can show love to your neighbor is having them over for a meal.
- Joyful. Are you known for your joy or for being one who grumbles and complains? How would your co-workers describe you? Maybe you need to pray for joy in the workplace. One thing you can do is sing praises on your way to work and while you are at work to remind you of God’s amazing work! (and read the Psalms!)
Let’s remember that as we devote ourselves to living for Jesus, God’s Spirit is the one who compels people to Christ. It takes time. That doesn’t mean we sit on the couch. We still want to be compelling in our love for people.
But along with being a compelling community, we will also be controversial…