I'm about to talk about church, which I know can be a sensitive subject, but I beg you to thoughtfully consider what I'm about to say before you respond in anger.
I used to go to church (it's true!), but for the past several years I've been only an occasional visitor. The reasons I stopped attending don't matter, nor will I discuss them here. Instead, I want to acknowledge my desire to return, to find a church where I feel a sense of community and belonging, where my children can both learn about and witness the love and grace of Christ, and where all of our questions about faith, God, and religion will be taken seriously.
Because of this desire, I decided that I would visit the next chruch I was invited to.
I made this decision in March.
It is now nearly November.
I have yet to be invited.
Please believe me when I say that I am not trying to put the responsibility for my own church attendance onto others; this is not the case. I have, in fact, visited churches during this time. But one fact remains: I want to be invited.
Or, I did. If somebody invites me now I will think it's because they've read this post. Although I will try not to, it's likely that I will look on such an invitation with suspicion and cynicism.
So instead of inviting me, I urge you to invite somebody else. If you attend church, and if this church is a vital part of your life, if it is a place that not only serves your needs but also offers you an opportunity to serve the needs of others, then please invite your friends.
And if they don't visit when you invite them...invite them again. And again. Invite them to services. Invite them to special events. Invite them to concerts. Even if they never attend, you can still invite them with love and without judgement.
Sometimes Christ pursues others through you. If you let him.
How has he pursued you?