Today a church I am familiar with held a neighborhood out- reach event. The congregation bought supplies for the event and advertised it and opened the church doors, hoping to draw in the neighbors. A few neighbors attended. Some church members were slightly discouraged by the lack of participation and wanted to give up sponsoring these events. I can understand the disappointment. However, to this congregation I would say, Don’t give up; prayer up.
Surround your neighborhood with prayer. Walk down the block praying for the people you have not yet met. Pray the Holy Spirit will draw them, not just to church, but to God in Christ.
The church should proclaim the Gospel to its neighbors, but it must also remember that the Gospel might not be quickly embraced by people still shackled to the world. In fact, the church’s proclaiming the truth of Jesus Christ will be despised by the world. Jesus said to His disciples, “If the world hates you, keep in mind it hated me first” (John 15:18).
The Gospel isn’t popular in the world; however, the Gospel is necessary in the world, so the world will come to know the saving grace of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. The message of the Gospel exposes the sin of the world and brings salvation to sinners who come to the cross of Christ and believe in His name.
So, to the small church struggling to give the time, energy and resources to reach its neighbors, don’t give up. Instead, pray, proclaim and stay in Christ. Through Him and by the power of the Holy Spirit you will bear fruit. “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:8).
Denise Larson Cooper has a passion for Christ and sharing His Word. A wife and mother of two daughters, Denise currently works as a gymnastic coach.
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Godnesia: Keeping God in Mind Each Day http://amzn.to/2GSquOD