Thursday, April 19, 2007

Being Inventive for the Right Reason

As I continue going through Hebrews, I came across this line.

"Let's see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out" Hebrews 10.22-25 (The Message)

What struck me is that he didn't say, "Let's see how inventive we can be to convert people" or even "Let's see how inventive we can be to get the word of Jesus out." There's more of a missional focus where we need to encourage others to love one another, and we need to help out, in unique and inventive ways.

Through being inventive and doing things differently from everyone else, with no agenda besides expressing our love for others, people will talk. We can spread His word through our actions. If the church is having a hard time brining in new people, I think it's a good sign that we aren't focusing on the right thing. We may have the best Worship service in the world, or even the best children's program. But unless we are spending out days out in the community, working with people directly, we'll never reach those who need Christ most.

Seriously, those who need Christ aren't going to search through the newspaper to find our church. They won't even know why they should pick ours over someone else's. If we do advertise in the paper, it needs to focus on the hurting person who isn't a Christian, not on informing other Christians that we are "Episcopalian" and our service times. Why should we want to attract other Christians? There are tons of other churches for that.

This is part of why I like some of the billboards people have been talking about. From the "Satan Hates Life" ads to "Church Doesn't Suck" (there was another one, but I can't seem to find it).

If every member of our church was chartered to spend one day a week helping the poor, the hurting and the lost, we'd be able to build relationships and tell them about the change Christ has made in our lives. We can then talk to them about church and Christ. We can then guide them into helping others, sharing unconditional love with them and get them to help out too.



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