Avoid 10:30 am in Greenville - that’s when they head out.
Within a short distance behind us, is an Amazon Distribution Center, or Fulfillment Center. It is strategically located allowing its vans to head out daily on a network of highways that take them in every direction.
I have tried on various occasions to count the number of vans in the parking lot, or should I say lots as they have commandeered adjoining lots for parking. I have to count quickly as they are moving to load up and get going, say 150 vans, maybe 200.
The vans head out about 10:30 am, a long line like ants, first picking up their cargo for the day at the center, and then hitting the highways. When they return at the end of the day, mostly after dark, they first gas up at local service stations, then return to the center, and eventually to the parking lot, filling the spots to capacity.
I tell you this because that’s what the church is meant to be. Typically, we gather for worship on Sundays, then after the benediction, we scatter into the community, heading in various directions, wherever our daily activities take us.
It was always intended that our scattering was the way the gospel of God’s love in Jesus Christ would be shared in the communities where we live. Faithful followers of Christ would carry the message of God’s love to the localities where they lived, worked, served, socialized, and hung out.
If the gospel is good news, and the people of our communities are in need of God’s love, then we should share it with them. Tell them about God’s love and its impact on your life, about Jesus Christ and his forgiveness, redemption, and healing.
Just tell them! Invite them! Host them!
We all have family and friends, neighbors and colleagues, people who daily cross our path in need of the love and grace of Christ more desperately than we imagine. So why hold back? Is it awkwardness, embarrassment, or clumsiness with our words?
Here’s an approach that may be helpful: Identify someone you would like to share with, or invite to church. Pray to ask for God’s help in doing so. Look for an opportunity to share or invite that person. Tell your story in simple terms: what God has done in your life. Invite them to church. Bring them or meet them, and host them during their visit. Then thank God for using you to share Christ’s love.
If every worshiper invited just one person, we could double the size of our congregation.
Every blessing, Graham N. West, pastor