Day 24: Coming or Going?

Tuesday Nov 18 Daily Interrupted Challenge:
Go to them.
We all have at least 1 friend that has fallen out of church or maybe hasn’t ever been to church. Today, let’s go to them instead of waiting for them to come to us. They might be a shut in, or angry at the last church they attended, or who knows what else – that part doesn’t matter. Today: Get in touch with them. Call them, text them, talk to them – ask them how they are doing. Let them know someone cares. You don’t even have to mention the word church. Just the fact that you are initiating conversation is a start. Build a relationship. Reach out and show some Jesus love today.
Don’t sit and wait on them to come to us. Go to them. Build a bridge, be a bridge.

My item: I’m going to call a lady that came into my life about a month ago. She has a faith background, but is overwhelmingly struggling to give up. I don’t know much about her story, but I know she’s in a dark place. I’m going to reach out and try to be available as an open ear – maybe ask her to join our ladies group that is meeting on Sunday night to get to know everyone.

There’s another lady that has fallen away from church for many years now. I’ve interacted with her on several occasions over the past 6 months, but not once have I told her how much I miss seeing her in church. I’m going to reach out to her as well this week, just let her know she is missed and loved.

And then – well, there’s this shut in elderly lady that hasn’t been to church in months. I wonder if anyone has called her or reached out? Why not me?

Obviously, there’s no short supply of people in my life that can be contacted.

How about you?

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Day 23: Here Pretending To Be There

Today’s chapter sticks out in my mind in a HUGE way. I remember reading these statistics about the church for the first time and sitting in disbelief. I thought, “There’s no way it can be THAT bad!”

Ignorance is not bliss.

Now that I know the hard truth (and have known this reality for a while now since reading this), I’m determined to not be the one that sits and waits on people to come. I’m going to them.

Personally, this is something that I’ve struggled with for a long time. I’ve excused my duty of bringing others into the church because I’m so busy and have so many things to do at church – certainly God is OK with me not inviting as many people since I do SOOO much in the church, right?

How awful is that? I’m utterly ashamed.

I’m shaken in my core to never be the same.

This journey for me hasn’t just been about cleaning out my house of excess items and giving them to people in need. It hasn’t just been about realigning my finances in a proper way to put us in a better position to give more. It hasn’t just been about getting out and serving the homeless in our community. Yes, all of those things have been great and are changing me, little by little.

What this really is about for me and my family: interrupting the way we live our everyday lives to think about others and show the love of Jesus. The opportunities to show His love around us are endless. I want to take advantage of that every single day for the rest of my life.

I challenge you to read over the statistics about the church again – let it sink in. You won’t forget about them. They will get stuck in your mind as you walk in the door at your own church. And YES – your church may have an amazing outreach program that is attracting new people and winning souls in astounding ways – Praise the Lord! I just ask this: what are YOU doing to contribute? Are you going to those around you and helping bring them into the Kingdom of Heaven? Are you showing the love of Jesus in ways that builds bridges?

I have much room to improve, for sure.

What we need to dig up, recover, and find again is the life of the Kingdom and Jesus’ community…the church…It’s not anti-church; it’s pro-church. It’s about the type of church that Jesus would go to, the type he died to give flight to. (Interrupted pg 96)

I would love to hear what stood out to you in these statistics and what it stirs up inside of you – comment below and join the conversation!

~Starr

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16 thoughts on “Day 24: Coming or Going?

  1. This very topic has been on my mind a lot lately, I am guilty as charged. There are so many people I need to reach out to but I keep using my job as an excuse that I just run out of time after working long hours. Well, today I’m off work so I have no excuse. Let me see what I can do today to make a difference in someone’s life and show them that they matter and that Jesus loves them. I’ll let you know later today how it goes.

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    1. Been on my heart too today! Can’t wait to hear how your day went. I reached out to all 3 people on my list. It didn’t take a lot of time or effort and was exactly what I needed to do today! I’m ready for more every single day! Go God!

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  2. My favorite chapter so far…..Are we really winning people over with our love and our lifestyle? ? Lord, help me to represent you in a way that people want to know you.

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  3. The statistics, how many 20somethings weren’t attending church! It was like God said to me-here-right here. This is Melissa. Confirmation again.

    I want to live my life that people see my Jesus, everyday. I want people to see my happiness and the change in me. Lord left the flame grow to the bonfire! Let it spread thru many!

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    1. You have no idea how my ears perked up when you said what you did in the car the other night!! BECAUSE I had already read this section and I knew the reality and the needs to reach this group – and God was already preparing you and dealing with you to help!! God is so good and I’m so glad you’re with us and that He’s making you crazy like me 🙂

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  4. I want to shine so that people wonder why I am so happy. I took the challenge today and reached out to two people who are hurting and I let them know that they are loved and that I am praying for them.

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    1. Awesome! I got a surprise today when I reached out to the shut in lady from our church. The minute she started talking to my little girls on the phone it was like they were talking to my grandma. It made my heart leap. I do believe we have adopted a new nana to call when riding down to road. God gave us a double blessing in that today!

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  5. Wow!! I was completely taken back by this! I have an aunt who I was very close with when I was younger and we have grown so far apart and there is anger and hurt that has come between us, I texted her the other night and asked Her to forgive me for not being there. I pray our relationship is in the mend and I am going to invite her yo ladies night as well! So please pray for us!

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  6. All of these comments brought a tear to my eye – Thank you all for sharing them.

    The stats presented in this chapter are very scary. But the lines that jumped out at me today –

    “What about the spiritually hungry who keep leaving churches uninspired and unmoved?” – To me that’s not just the ones that stop attending. But the ones that are still within the four walls -but are so emotionally overwhelmed with life or whatever, that they don’t get anything out of the service/meeting/sermon. The ones that are in the doors everytime the doors are open.They are there because they know there is more – they are seeking and searching. But still manage to not get anything out of it. What about them?

    I’ve read several times recently – “just because you’re alone, doesn’t mean you are lonely”. The two opposite sides works also — 1) just because you’re in a group, doesn’t mean you’re NOT lonely and 2) just because you are alone doesn’t mean you’re NOT lonely. How many people inside the four walls fit into one of these categories?

    “It’s about the type of church that Jesus would go to, the type He died to give flight to.” – Wow! Would He be happy with our mega churches? With the coffee shops, book stores, and gift shops? With churches were the pastors (shepherds) do not know the people?

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    1. These lines that you pointed out are so very powerful and they are stuck in my head! I see the spiritually hungry every single week as I lead the worship. I see the hurt in the eyes of the people standing there. I see how there is a longing for something more. I know that this is real! And I know that there is a freedom and a hope in Jesus that is available to all of us. Lord, help us to find that hope and freedom in learning to be more like You and help that to spill out into our congregations and into our communities. Let this revival begin with us!

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