In a world that increasingly sees the church as irrelevant, ignorant, and outdated, it’s no wonder congregations struggle to get people through the front doors on Sunday morning.
But perhaps there’s a better way to lead people into the kingdom of God than coaxing them into a building. Instead of inviting people to services and expecting the leaders to explain the gospel, what would happen if we put the onus on ourselves? What if we diligently learned about God’s truth from the pastors and teachers, immersed ourselves in His Word, and then built relationships with those who need to hear it?
Of course, it’s often easier to sit next to someone on a pew than to connect with them outside of church on a personal level. We feel comfortable praying silently for them as we wait for the truth to do its transformative work. And it takes little emotional risk or vulnerability to hold a sign at the side of the road or “stand for truth” to strangers and acquaintances on social media. It’s so much harder to pour out abundant patience, lengthy commitment, and steadfast faith into a relationship.
As Christians wrestle with what it means to “[speak] the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15), we must resist the urge to retreat in fear, fall into indifference, lash out in anger, or pour out condemnation. These options will do little to bring restoration. Instead, let us help others by taking the gospel from the church pews out into the world, because that’s where it’s needed the most.
Dr. Stanley explains how we can share Christ with a friend in his article, “Equipped for Evangelism.”