A couple of days after returning home from my trip, I was back out on our neighborhood basketball court where I've been getting much needed exercise. I was early that day, and a friend and I were shooting around chatting a bit while we did. I had been out of town, so he asked me where I had been. "Tennessee and Kentucky," I answered. He prodded some more, "Family or work?" "Work," I replied. He leaned in some more, "So what's up?" (Translation: So what do you do?)
I prefer not to start faith conversations with my job or with church. It's just too easy to struggle with tangents or stumble upon barriers. Rather I much prefer to begin with conversations about God, spirituality, Jesus, etc. We'll get around to those other conversations eventually -- actually usually rather quickly. In this instance, however, there was no way to avoid the question. So I borrowed a line used many times in the past and commonly utilized by one of our catalysts in NY. "I lead a ministry that starts churches for people who don't like church." His reply came with no small amount of enthusiasm. "THAT'S WHAT'S UP!!" he exclaimed enthusiastically.
His exuberance struck me, and I kept thinking about it on my walk home long after the last points were scored on the court. I deeply love the church and am committed fully to her mission, but I also have a heart for those who have difficulty seeing beyond the expressions of church in which they have failed to find a spiritual home. So I want to understand these barriers that keep people at arm's length. This is one reason why Global City Mission emphasizes evangelistic training for churches as part of what we do.
Pray with us that we may be bridge-builders and guides so that our neighbors will find their way to the feet of Jesus and, like Him, fall in love with His bride. .