My family went to see, “Secretariat” last Friday night at the Galaxy Theatre in Orillia. I don’t recommend many movies but this one is worth seeing and we had a lot of fun. It struck me that even on a rainy night, the parking lot was full and there was a real buzz inside, with wall-to-wall people scrambling to purchase tickets and over-priced snacks.
On the way in I turned to Kathy and said, “Someday Sunday morning is going to look like this!”. Now maybe you think that is just wishful thinking or just something a campus pastor is suppose to say, but I do believe that. Now don’t get me wrong, I think Sunday mornings in Orillia are already exciting, but as a church we exist for those who are not there yet and that means we have a lot of room to grow. Easier said than done right? I mean we don’t advertise; no billboards, no newspaper or radio ads; how is anyone to know that a community of people gathers every Sunday morning in a theatre, to worship God and introduce others to a God who loves them more than they know?
At Connexus, our mission is to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and we believe the best way to do that is by investing and inviting. Investing time in people and inviting them to experience what you and I do on a Sunday morning. Maybe you’re not sure where to start; let me suggest a couple of things that may help:
1) Pray. Sometimes prayer is our last resort but I encourage you to start by asking God to show you who you might connect with, who you can invest in. I think when we talk to God about this, it also strengthens our commitment to invest in others.
2) Look. We must be intentional about connecting with others. Our busy lives can work against us sometimes because it’s easy to be so focused on our daily routines and responsibilities that we miss opportunities to connect with others. Maybe we make this too difficult sometimes. Who is already in your circle of influence? Who do you already spend time with? Maybe this includes family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Look for those who God is bringing into our path and make the effort to grow your relationship with them.
One last thought. If you want others to be interested in your church, you first need to be interested in their life. Get to know people better; discover their story and show you really care about them. That takes time, sometimes a lot of time. Gone are the days of knocking on someone’s front door and asking if they are interested in knowing God. Come to think of it, I’m not sure those days were ever really here. Maybe for others to enjoy a relationship with God, starts with our relationship with them.
I noticed something else last Friday night at the movies; I didn’t see anyone there alone. I saw groups of friends, couples and families but no one was alone. Rarely will someone come to church on Sunday alone either, which means we need to invite them. Friday night at the movies was good, but Sunday morning in church was way better. This week we continue our series Losing Your Religion, a great series to invite those who might be skeptical of church or religion. I hope to see you then.