Every window conjured up nightmares. Every room was a breeding ground for ghouls and goblins. Not your normal description for a church but very accurate for the one I was affiliated with.
It was high school, and I had landed a cleaning job at the church my dad was pastoring. The pay was decent, the location convenient and the hours flexible. All enticing factors for a high school student. But on the weekends, partying came first.
By the time I arrived to clean on Saturday nights I was tired, it was late and I was scared. Churches may bustle with activities on Sunday but at night they are frightening places-especially for a teenager with an active imagination. Sometimes I would take a friend to drive away the woolies. Most of the time, I just endured the chill bumps.
Churches shouldn’t be frightening places-although experiences there should give us chill bumps. Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers (Acts 9:31).
The early church didn’t keep the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection to themselves. They took it worldwide. They weren’t scared of what God would do if they didn’t; they were simply overwhelmed by God’s gift and wanted others to receive it.
Churches are places where relationships are built, spiritual growth takes place and the atmosphere is inviting and challenging. We may confine our churches by denomination, governmental style, culture or race, but God sees people not differences. What can you do to make your church a more inviting place?
Prayer: Merciful Lord, remind us Your church wasn’t birthed to frighten us but for us to enjoy and invite others to join.
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