(Thoughts to live by)
By Kenneth Schorr
Walking into a local church you are handed a bulletin and given a “Good Morning” by the greeter. That was the last time anyone speaks to you before the service. After service you go to the coffee hour sitting at a table where you could be seen. It would be almost ten minutes before someone would sit down with you. You ask this person, “Can you tell me something about your church?” “What kind of outreach do you have; do you feed the poor, house the homeless, help the addicted, have a ministry for returning prisoners?” The person replies, “We don’t have those kind of problems here.” You think dear God another church like Laodicea (Rev.3:14‐22)! You get up and leave, never to return. How can you justify or defend ignoring Mt.25 :36‐41 ? You cannot!
Sadly the above actually happened and appears to be still happening at all too many area churches. In their comfort zone with little or no major outreach, yet they wonder why people are not coming? The excuses are many. How much longer before the doors slam shut, never to re‐ open? Instead of being alive and vibrant in Jesus Christ, they are on their deathbed. Blind to their own sin. Have they forgotten their God given mandate to provide hope, vision and leadership? Called to a ministry of healing and reconciliation? Why the fear?
This church has moved forward with ministries like Loads of Love and 5L2F and that’s a great start; but what about outreach to those with addictions, those who are divorced facing singleness, families who have someone incarcerated, those returning from incarceration, just to name a few? Would they be welcome; would they be able to grow in their Christian life and service or would traditions and legalism not allow it? How would you feel if you were not welcome? Outreach and faith go hand in hand. It shows not only who we are but also whom we follow. It shows our character and integrity! Being a church means we are to minister not only to those within the church, but also to those outside in the community no matter who they are or what they have done! To put it another way, the church is to serve not be served! Don’t you agree? Before you answer, what are you willing to do? When? Let’s make this New Year one to remember perhaps by starting new ministries like those mentioned above! Do you have others? Could this be the year to have a revival?