#6 - We care more about you coming to "our church" rather than coming to our Jesus...

I've heard from several pastors over the years that I need to invite people to church.  Of course, they need to get saved.  Where else could they possibly do it except church?  (Yes, I say that a bit tongue-in-cheek.)  I understand the push, because there are a lot of Christians who can't really explain the message of salvation all that well.  They fully believe it in their hearts, but just cannot explain it convincingly.  So, it may very well be easier for that person to invite the friend to church instead, saving himself the embarrassment. 

I'm not standing in judgment of that person who cannot explain it well, because some people can't even explain our structure of government (ME) very well.  It would be of better service for me to direct an inquisitive foreigner to someone who understands it better than I do.  But I still have a general working knowledge of it.  That said, the responsibility lies with me in my ability to explain. 

Back to the Church, though.  I hold more judgment for our church leaders and mature Christians not explaining the big-picture story of the Bible to younger/newer Christians for them to better understand.  Again, this does not apply to all Christians in every church, but it does apply to a great many of them.  But, as is the case in my example of me learning the governmental system to explain it, shame on Christians for not taking education in God's word upon themselves.  (I'll stop there and save that rant for #5.)

I've long lived by the rule that when I share the gospel with someone, I try to put them in touch with decent churches in their relative area (if I know of any) where s/he can plug in.  Because I commuted 65 miles to work for a decade, most of my acquaintances, run-in's, and co-workers didn't live anywhere near me.  I didn't care to invite them to "my church" because I knew it was not practical for them to do so.  Instead, I wanted them to know Jesus and to be discipled in the gospel with a body of believers with whom they can fit in and grow accountable.  I wanted them to plug in with a church near them, not me.

Sadly, however, most proselytizing today comes in this form:
Guy 1: "Man, my church is really lame.  Can you believe what they did this time?" 
Guy 2: "Dude, that is such a bummer, because my church is rockin'.  You should come check it out sometime." 
And that, my friends, is the extent of "witnessing" many Christians today ever do.

"In his book entitled 'Exit Interviews,' William D. Hendricks writes something astonishing: 'Almost all growth reported by North American churches today is the result of CHURCH SWITCHING and birthrate within the churches rather than conversion growth.'"  

If we really cared about the lost coming to Jesus, we would bury our faces in our Bibles so we could better understand God;
We would bury our faces in good books to help us better explain the gospel;
We would pray for our unsaved loved ones, friends, and acquaintances a LOT more fervently than we do, and our hearts would be broken for them.
But we just want them to come to our church.  It's a whole lot easier.  I wonder if this phenomenon has anything to do with our craving to simply have our churches more populated on Sundays, i.e, higher attendance numbers.  Because a more populated church is a successful church, right?  I wonder if we're too hung up on numbers as indicators of success, rather than individual growth. 

Jesus told people, "Follow me", and He led them to God.  He didn't say, "Come check out my church."  I think we need to get back to Jesus' example and lead people to God by our own example, beckoning them, "Follow me."


  1. Mike - I know where you are coming from. Getting someone to come to church is not the same as giving testimony of who Jesus is in our lives. when God directed Jonah to Ninevah, the message Jonah was to take to the people was a message of repentance, not "come back to church." The body of Christ has "learned" that sharing the gospel is something the clergy does, or what someone does who has the spiritual gift of evangelism. The result, of course, is more darkness in the world, and less passion in the hearts of the body of Christ. I have discovered that the more I share Christ with others, the more I experience Christ in my heart.

    Here is another thought, however, somewhat related. I think there is an absence of emphasis in the church, by the clergy, to encourage believers to be in the church. In fact, we act as if it really doesnt matter whether believers attend or not. We attend church when we have nothing else to do (including our kids soccer games, etc.), when no one is visiting, when our body temperature is perfect, i.e., 98.6, with no headache, or body aches, and the sun must be shining outside, and no threat of rain! When we are there, we do not worship God, but rather, sing if we feel like it, listen to a sermon if it is "relavant," and rarely experience true heartfelt worship(JOhn 4). I can remember so many years in the church that I never sang because I told myself I didnt have the voice for it (singing was not to worship God, but what you just did; so if you didnt feel like it, why should you? Hallelujah, now I am in the choir!). It didnt matter to me what songs were being sung, because I was "enduring" not only the music but the entire hour, literally. In fact, if the service went over an hour (rarely the case, actually), I was indignant and angry. After all, I had things to do! Plus, I knew that the rest of the congregation all felt the same as I did. How dare that preacher go past 12 noon!

    So, what is my point? The Church is in dire need of repentance. We have lost our focus on our only Begotten God, Jesus the Christ, and the great debt He has paid on our behalf. No wonder we do not witness; we have nothing to witness about. Unless our preachers come back to the meaning of true worship, personally, and preach sermons that convict of the sin of "worshipless" worship, the body of Christ, will be unable to overcome the danger of apostasy in the end-times. I am not saying that the pastors are the only means of repantance, but they are the leaders of the church of today. If our leaders do not lead in the right way, the people will follow them down the path of darkness eventually leading to apostasy (2 Thess 2:2-3).

    Long ago, I threw away the clock for worship. As a pastor, the clock is my enemy; but it does not stop my delivery of the message Christ has given me. I have found that I must believe in the message God has given me; that it is worth preaching, and worth hearing, because it is the gospel that saves the lost.

    Blessings. Love your site!


    1. Kip, I appreciate your thoughtful reply on so many levels. Dialoguing on all of it would require a full post of its own. Let me just say, I like what you've said in here. Great points. My favorite is this: "No wonder we do not witness; we have nothing to witness about." That is so very astute! I wonder how many Christians truly know what we've been saved from.

      By the way, I see you attended SBTS. Must have been great studying under Dr. Mohler. Will you be at T4G this year? It would be neat to meet you, if so.

    2. Mike - Yes, I did attend SBTS, but I graduated the year before Dr Mohler arrived. I had the priviledge of working with Dr Mohler on Seminary Village, the housing complex for married students. I helped structure a "tax incentive" partnership to finance needed improvements at the Village. I am blessed to have received God's calll into ministry after a successful career as a CPA and owner of my own CPA firm.
      Also, I am blessed to have a church that is alive and filled with Gods Spirit; but I have a passion for revival in the local church.

  2. Great series, Mike. I do see this a lot. Inviting people to church is great, but there is this false assumption that being in church somehow saves you.