Saturday, 4 June 2011

I am coming to your church this Sunday

Thomas  Weaver of  Resurgence expresses  very  well  the  thoughts of  a  non Christian visiting  a  church. It would  be  good  if  church  leaders kept  these  things  in   mind when  they  open  their  church  doors on
Sunday morning.

Okay I’m not a Christian, but I’ve finally made the decision to come to your church this Sunday. Don’t expect much from me though. If something comes up I might not, but right now I’m planning on it. I feel like I need to go, but I’m not sure why. I want to tell you a few things about myself before you meet me.

1. I’m not going to understand religious language or phrases so be aware of that when we talk. I don’t understand slain in the spirit, God is moving in me, covered in the blood, I need to die to self, you just need to be in the Word, what you need is a new life, etc. If we have conversation filled with religious talk, I’m probably not going to understand half of the words...and maybe think you’re a little crazy.

2. When you ask me how I’m doing, know that I don’t trust you. I’m probably going to lie and tell you I’m fine. It’s not that I don’t want to tell you; it’s just that I come from some pain and am not sure if I trust you yet. How about you tell me your story first? If I like you and get the vibe that you’re not trying to capture my soul or anything, I’ll tell you mine.

3. I’ve got pretty rough language and I can be bitter and angry about some things. If I sense in you a mindset of superiority, I’m out. If you are just waiting for your turn to talk instead of truly listening to me, I’m not going to be interested. Don’t expect me to be exactly like you.

4. Don’t make a big deal of introducing me to everyone you know. I understand a couple of people, but please; don’t set up a welcoming line. I’m just there to check it out; I need a bit of space.

5. I’m going to be looking for genuine interest in me. I don’t want to feel like your personal salvation project or be a notch on your “I saved one” belt. If this Jesus is who you say he is, then I’m looking forward to seeing him in you. That’s how it works, right?

6. I’m going to have questions. I need truth, not your preferences or your religion, so can you just tell me what the Bible says?

7. I need to feel welcomed. Is there a time limit or something on my visit before I’m supposed to feel unwelcomed? I mean, I’ve been to other churches and there seemed to be a push for me to make up my mind or something. How long until I’m unwelcomed?

Thanks for hearing me out. I’m pretty sure I’m going to come this Sunday. But I might not.

On  May 15th  Bro.  Sunil Joy shared  in  our  church.
Sunil is  a  missionary to  rural youth.

Here  are  some  photos from  the service

Sunil and  his  wife  Ritu are  not  Christians ,  but  they  have  started  taking  an  interest  in the  Gospel and  right  now   they  are  attending  a  Bible  camp. Do  pray  that  they  may find  the  truth.
Indu Aunty is  almost crippled  due  to  arthritis ,  but  she  attends church  faithfully.
Praying  for  various needs  at the  end  of  the  service.

For  the  next  2  Sundays  I  will  be  sharing 
in  the  Sunday  service, as  Pastor
is  away.
Tomorrow I  will  be  sharing  from
Phillipians 3;1
"Rejoice  in the Lord  always."
Sonia  and  Abner are leaving   early
tomorrow  morning.
We  had   lovely 3  weeks together
and  they  flew  by  so  fast.

14 Fertilize my soul:

Prekmurska Gibanica said...

The problem in my opinion is that many people don't tell other people simply Gospel of Christ, but the Gospel of Baptists, the Gospel of Methodists, the Gospel of Catholics or the Gospel of Lutherans. Some people believe that only their church is right. But people don't want to listen about churches, denominations etc. They want to meet real God. Very important is also our daily life and testimony.
You are also right when You wrote about language - sometimes I think that some phrases are only mask, which some believer wear because they don't want to tell some things in ugly words.

Terra said...

Amrita, your words are so wise here, to guide us in truly welcoming people to church. I prayed for the people you wrote about here, that all good things happen for them.

Buttercup said...

So glad you had a great visit with Sonia and Abner!

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Amrita,

So much care and trouble to bring non believers into the Church. It is amazing so much thought is given on the subject.

John Cowart said...

Hi Amrita,

That Weaver essay is right on target; thanks for sharing it.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Soul winning is very hard indeed and our efforts to win souls for Christ must be guided by the Holy Spirit. We must approach interested people with a humble spirit and must avoid being self righteous for this will surely turn off prospective converts. It is best to resort to prayer evangelism before we start our effort at converting. Thanks for the post. God bless you always.

Mark said...

Good reminders that cross all cultures, Amrita. Thanks for sharing this post.

Julia Dutta said...

What a beautiful post Amrita. It is true that at times we have felt pushed to accept Jesus as our saviour. Many of us who are close to Christianity, may want to just be in touch with Him, in private. But not necessarily make a commitment.

I remember once I was in Mumbai and we were at a large Gathering and the pastor at the end of the service said - all those of you, who believe in Christ raise your hand....I did, but at the same time I remembered my Buddha's face in my heart. Now, for all reasons, I am so close to Christianity, why would I need to make a public statement about it?


Felisol said...

Dear Amrita,
What an important message from Thomas Weaver. Wouldn't it be a good idea to copy it and post in in all churches all over the world, to make what we call the "Church Strangers"feel wanted and welcomed.

I know that you, being an educated teacher and a rare godly woman will be a perfect "stand in" in your church.

Good luck in all your doing; be it small or big, you will faithfully always do your best.
From Felisol

Nikki (Sarah) said...

good post Yesu....your blog always reminds me that no matter where we live...we're all really much the same....

Sue said...

So nice to meet you Amrita, I have been so blessed by my visit.

Amrita said...

I appreciate every one o f your comments dear friends.

Felisol, it would be a good idea if pastors have a copy of these points on their pulpit.

Its a good thing to be sensitive to people of various faiths and beliefs and new comers.

Last Sunday when I was sharing in church, a young man who is a gymn coach came. He has been going to a Pentecostal church and is quite new to Christianity - seeing him I adapted my talk to be approachable to him

Amrita said...

Dear Julia,I know wha t you are saying. We can not be forced or emotinally influenced into accepting Christ.This would be doing our faith a disservice.

Christ himself never forced anyone to follow him while he walked on earth in fact he said if yoiu are not willing to pay the cost of following me - GO BACK.

On th e other hand preachers ask people to make an public declaration of their faith in various ways - but no should be forced.

Amrita said...

Dear Sue, Welcome to my blog. I really enjoyed your beautiful family blog - your photography and creativity are exceptional