Give me a word, Lord: CHURCHING

Colossians 4:5-6 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Philippians 2:5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.

I Peter 1:13-16 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

My husband and I enjoy winding down at the end of the day with a good movie. Sometimes I can stay awake for the whole movie, but a lot of the time, I fall asleep. One night after a super busy day on the farm, I watched part of a movie that came on at 10:00. Jeff had been in the hay field all morning while I chased and caught bugs with my grandson and then made some cucumber mint jam. We picked 4 bushels of purple hull peas as evening approached, and quite honestly, although I wanted to watch the movie, I couldn’t hold my eyes open. I asked Jeff to save it on DVR. Maybe we’ll watch it another night.

It was a cute movie, but what caught my attention was the idea of “churching”. There was a young lady who moved in with her ex-mother-in-law after the death of her ex-father-in-law. She was supposed to be helping the woman pack up, but she also wanted to help her through her grieving. The mother-in-law was very involved in her church, but the young lady had never been to church in her life. While packing, she found a Bible. It was Sunday morning so she suggested to the mother-in-law that they go “churching”, and off they went.

As I said, I couldn’t stay awake for it all, but here are a couple of my take aways. First of all, I saw church through the eyes of someone who had never been to church before. She was rough around the edges, and she didn’t know “how things worked.” She stood up in the middle of the sermon and asked questions, and got the pastor flustered. She was told, “we don’t really ask questions during the sermon.” The second time she went, she stood up before the sermon began and said she was just going to ask her questions up front so as not to interrupt. She asked if this religion was the right religion and if so why were there so many other religions and what made this one the right one. The pastor chuckled as he informed her that she sure did ask easy questions. He seemed to recognize her desire for knowledge about Christ. The second thing I noticed was the way her “churching” upset the church. You see, there was a snooty old church lady who called a committee meeting after the second church visit. She complained about the young women’s disruptive behavior, demanded that the pastor do something about it, and even had the audacity to tell him what to preach the next Sunday.

As an adult who has been in church my entire life, I find it hard to put myself in the shoes of someone who has never had the blessing of being raised with a family of believers. As such, it is easy for us “church people” to look down our noses at the non-churched when they show up and don’t act like us. We turn into the snooty old church lady with a bad attitude. I don’t think we mean to. I think we just haven’t put ourselves in their shoes.

We are called to be wise in the way that treat outsiders with conversations full of grace and seasoned with salt. We are called to love like Jesus loves, and we are called to share the gospel with everyone…not just people who are like us. Church is not the building. It is the body of believers. So I challenge you to go “churching” today. Share the love of Christ with everyone you come in contact with…especially those who are a little rough around the edges!

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