Saturday, April 26, 2014

Why I invited you to church

In the weeks leading up to Easter, I felt called to invite several coworkers to an Easter Sunday service at one of my churches (I am actively involved in both the Jacob's Well and Upper Room communities). Extending said invitations is scary for me, especially when they are to coworkers, and especially when I expected flat-out rejection. Two of them did, in fact, immediately decline my invites, which frankly wasn't surprising (though I had prayed earnestly for different answers). The other two were receptive, but either because of health or schedule, it didn't work out. To be honest, I have suspected for a while that one of the lessons God and I are working on is 'do what is asked of me, even when I know I will not "succeed."'

Very intentionally, my faith has become engrained in every part of who I am and how I live my life. At the same time, I've also striven (successfully) to live non-threateningly - anyone who's talked about "God-stuff" with me knows that I'm not out to "convert" them - I'm just being me, and being me involves talking about God.

When it comes to inviting friends (and I am truly blessed with coworkers I also call "friends") to church, I want to make it clear: I'm not trying to "save" you. That's between you and God. What I am trying to do, is share with you the unearthly peace, and hope, that my faith gives to me. My faith is the reason why I am an eternal optimist, and can remain so even while I'm frustrated or disappointed or hurt or whatever; in no way am I delusional about earthly life's reality - I just live for something else.

Months ago I read an article that articulated this so much better than I can. Thank goodness for Google, who helped me find it in .42 seconds:

It's short, I hope you'll take 2 minutes and read the whole thing (4 minutes if you're like me and not a fast reader). But if you don't read it, then let me highlight a sentence I think summarizes the piece: "Every invitation to church is an 'I love you and I want this indescribable love, peace, and joy for you because I genuinely care about you.'"

If I invite you to one of my churches, it's because I love you, I love my church communities, and I want you to have a vibrant life that you love, and that is full of hope. The only way by which I know that to be possible is through my faith, and that's why I want to share it with you.

I refuse to keep this buried deep inside of me
Yeah this little light of mine, it's time to let it shine a bit
'Cause there's no point in hiding it
It's everything I am
The source of all my hope
And it's the reason why I stand
And I pledge allegiance to being somebody real
There's no more holding it back
I'm showing them how I feel
'Cause love is more than a word
It's a noun, and a verb, and hiding it's absurd

1 comment:

Mom said...

Wow! Powerful stuff...and SO true!