I am currently in a season of my life where I am “church shopping.” Since I moved out of my parents’ house, attending the church I had been a part of since childhood meant a 2 hour and 15 minute round trip every Sunday. I found that I became someone who sits in the chair on Sunday but has no involvement any other day of the week. I have a heart for service and being involved, and being an active member became harder and harder. So I visited a bunch of churches and I liked many of them, but I had this lack of contentment. I didn’t realize how difficult church shopping would be. I’m one of the biggest extroverts you’ll ever meet, but when I’m in a group of people I don’t know, I’m extremely shy.
These past 4 or 5 weeks I’ve been attending services at a local church and I’ve really been enjoying it. One thing I’m blown away by is their amazing outreach program. Last week, they participated in a “Love Week” where they just go out and bless people of the community. That really captured my heart. I have such a passion for outreach.
Did you know that in America less than 20% of people regularly attend church… and attendance is declining at a steady pace? Some churches may see their numbers grow, but it’s often because of people like me – Christians who move from one church to another instead of non-Christians who get saved and start attending church for the first time in their lives.
Outreach is so important. Last week I learned about this church’s missions program. I love the passion they have for reaching their Jerusalem, then extending their ministry to their Judea and Samaria, and they support people in nations to every corner of the earth (Acts 1:8). “Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter” – Charles Spurgeon. I’ve quoted this in a past Victory Call, but it applies here as well.
We are all called to share the gospel and make disciples. It’s not a suggestion or a job for only certain people. Biblical scripture tells us that Jesus commands us to do so. The Lord uses His people to be witnesses to the lost. The statistic that less than 20% of people regularly attend church (and the number is declining) is pretty upsetting. Now, we know that scripture tells us that more and more people will progressively turn away from Christ, but that shouldn’t discourage us, it should give us more motivation to witness to as many people as we can. We want our relationship with Christ to be rich and contagious and our goal is to live our lives in a way where people want what we have. What if we all made service a priority? Galatians 5:13, 1 Peter 4:10, Philippians 2:3, and countless other verses tell us that in humility, we should put others first and serve others. This provides opportunity to share why we live our lives the way we do.
This Victory Call may be a little scattered, but the point I’m trying to make is that we should make sharing the Word of God a priority, as we are commanded to do. A huge way of doing that is being involved in outreach and, in humble service, extending our arms to those who are lost. We need to serve others.
Here’s a challenge: Every day this week, let’s go out of our way to do something kind for another person, for no other reason than to bring God glory. It could be paying for someone’s groceries, cleaning the neighborhood, or bringing a home cooked meal to a neighbor “just because.” I think we would see a world of difference in church attendance if we truly made outreach and service a high priority.
Erin Culleny serves as a Marketing Assistant and Staff Writer. She had served on Summer Staff since 2011, and this past summer had the unique opportunity of co-directing Children’s Ministry with one of her best friends. She is very excited to continue to build relationships with the guests and be very involved in the ministry.
There’s still time!!!