I attended an Easter egg hunt hosted by a church several years ago. It was the first time the church had opened the event to the community. As I entered the fellowship hall, I immediately saw two groups of people.
On one side of the building stood a large mob that looked comfortable together. But on the opposite end of the building was another group. The parents talked to their children but didn’t interact with the other families around them. Every now and then they would glance at the laughter coming from the other group. I inquired from a friend and found out that one group was from the church and the other from the community.
As we were talking, I saw one lone church member take a chair that had been near her friends and drag it all the way across that building. The metal chair made a screeching noise across the entire length of the floor. The lady plopped it down between the visitors. She sat and began making conversation. I love it when I see someone who gets what it means to be a Christ follower.
To follow Jesus means you’re a mover. You aren’t afraid to talk to people because those people may be lost souls and you’re well aware that you are responsible to your Father for them. You know that you’ve got your own baggage but you don’t let it keep you from a mission greater than your hurts and disappointments. You pick it up, give it to Jesus one more time and get moving through this world with hope and joy. Even when you’re tired. Even when your heart is broken. Even when it’s uncomfortable. Even when everyone else refuses.
Church, it’s time to shift our focus back to God first and then to our communities. How do we do that? Well, we take a chair or an evening and venture into a community of people we probably don’t know and we start making conversations. If we’re consistent, those conversations will become relationships. And maybe, just maybe, those relationships will lead someone to Jesus. But the chair won’t move itself. We have to be proactive but even before that, we have to care. We have to open our eyes to the lost in our community and we have to be moved with compassion to do something. Enough of the wanting to serve at a distance. Enough with the arrogant excuses and rampant apathy. Enough of thinking someone else will doit. Enough of the numbness to the world and it’s routine. Enough. Take that chair and let’s get moving.
Paula Harrington is the mother of five children and resides in Calvert City. She is compiler and editor of the books, Once Upon a Bible Class, A Common Bond and A Sunday Afternoon with the Preachers’ Wives. Her work has appeared in Christian Woman magazine, the Christian Chronicle newspaper and numerous other sites and websites. When she’s not teaching at one of Marshall County’s finest schools, she’s helping her family at the Calvert Drive-in Theater (and by helping, she means eating the cheeseburgers). She can be contacted at email@example.com