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Is your church ready for growth?

June 29, 2014

homeless man-Leroy Skalstad-sm

We pray, “Lord, bring people to our church. Bring those who are hungry for your word. Bring the people who need you the most.  The ones nobody wants.”

But what would we do if God actually answered that prayer?

Think about it.

Jesus walked this earth for three years, giving us a perfect example of how WE should be—He showed us what living for God looks like.

He hung out with adulterers, murderers, lepers and demon possessed, dirty, naked people. He never flinched—He just showed them love and acceptance. He healed them and cared for their souls. He was concerned with where they spent eternity and that overshadowed everything else about them – even the unpleasant or, yes, disgusting parts.

He showed US how we are to love and accept these people no one wants. He cares about their souls, not their filth or disease. So should we.

He said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of my brethren, ye have done it unto me (Matthew 25:40).” Yet how do we treat the ‘least of them’? Do we embrace them, show them love and share the hope of Christ so that they can be born again?

We may be the very last chance for them to hear truth, feel the love of Christ and experience a new birth. Jesus told us to love people (Mark 12:31), spread the gospel (Mark 16:15) and baptize them in His name (Matthew 28:19).

How we doing with that? How are we really doing?

Are the showing them the love of Christ or are we recoiling in horror at their disease, their tattoos, their filth, their bondage, their sin? Do we draw them into our church family, love them and pray with them or do we shun them and drive them back out into the world?

We are asking for God to send people to our church, but are we giving Him a laundry list of what we will accept and what simply is not ‘right’ for our church?

It’s His house. Doesn’t He get a say in all this?

I grieve. I grieve tonight. My heart breaks because we have some wonderful churches with passionate, anointed pastors. Churches where God moves and lives are changed. But when the ‘least of them’ shows up these same churches fail the test.

We are praying the prayer “God send them” when we should really be praying “God make us ready.”

Because from what I have seen, most of us are NOT ready.

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