The church needs to stop expecting the lost to come to church and start focusing on taking the church to the lost.
An erroneous idea started long ago that the Church was a building, a location, a place that people went to worship Jesus. The problem with this ideology is that Scripture never teaches that. The Bible empathically teaches that the Church represents the people, the followers of Jesus Christ.
When I was in seminary, you know, training to reach the lost, I was working at a steakhouse to pay my bills. After my first semester at Moody Bible Institute, I had run out of money and used up all my plasma. I found myself in need of money, so I started working at a steakhouse back in Peoria, Illinois. For those of you who have worked in the fast food industry, you know that the industry is rather secular. I was shocked to find out that at my restaurant not a single person of the 50-person staff considered themselves a Christian. I was truly the minority, and I quickly became the token Christian to the group.
I often invited my colleagues to attend church with me, but I was unsuccessful. Can anyone relate to that?
I just thought that if I could just get my coworkers to church, then they would see their need for a savior. They would recognize their despair, meet Jesus and repent. But first, I had to get them to church.
Have you ever felt this way? Have you ever thought, “If I could just get my neighbor, my aunt, my husband, my wife to church, then they would get saved?”
Well I have good news for you. God’s plan was never for the lost to go to church! What? Nope! God’s plan was never for the lost to go to Church, God’s plan from the beginning was for the Church to go to the lost!
God doesn’t want you to invite someone to church. God wants you to take the church to them. Romans 3:11 teaches that no one desires God, and no one seeks God. It is our responsibility as Christians to stop waiting for people to come to church and to start taking the church to them — to the shops, the field, the game, the street, the restaurant — wherever there are lost people, that is where the Church should go.
Will this be messy? Absolutely. But maybe a better question: Will it be effective? Once again, Absolutely!