Aug 28, 2019

Get Out of Your Church Building

If you want to spend your time ministering like Jesus did, then you'll get out of your church building and take the Gospel to your neighborhood, city, state, country and world.

If you look at where Jesus spent the majority of His time, it was outside the synagogues and temples.  His ministry took Him right in the middle of people who did not attend "church."

If we are going to be a ministry that follows Jesus' example, then we've got to get outside the four walls  of our church and take the Gospel to the world.  You can't spell the Gospel without "Go."

I am here today, typing about the Gospel, because of a man in our neighborhood lived out Acts 1:8. 

If you go a few generations back, you'll discover that my family was far from God.  My great, grandfather produced and sold illegal alcohol back in the prohibition days.  Yes, he was what you would call a "moonshiner."  Unchurched.  No knowledge of the Gospel. 

One day, another man came to his house with the intent of taking over the "business" in the county.  A fight broke out and my great grandfather ended up murdering the man.  He was sent off to prison to live out the rest of his days.  He got deathly sick and so they let him come home to die.  He died a terrible death in the end, screaming out that he was on fire and that scary people were coming for him.

My grandfather followed right in his footsteps.  He fought on the front lines in World War II and saw the horrendous atrocities of war.  When the war was over, he came home and tried to drown out the nightmares with alcohol.  He had a violent temper.  He ran a bar and engaged in fighting, brawling, etc. on a regular basis.

Unchurched.  Without hope.  Turmoil.  Until...a man in our neighborhood got outside the walls of the church and decided to come by our house.  He invited my grandfather, grandmother and dad to come with him to church.  He quickly received a "no" response, but he wouldn't give up.  He kept coming and inviting us to church. 

Finally, my grandmother said "yes" and so he gave my father and grandmother a ride to church the next Sunday. 

Long story short.  My grandmother came to Christ.  My father came to Christ.  But still my grandfather refused to come to church.  A few years later, my father was called to preach as a teenager.  My grandfather came to hear his son preach.  God touched his life and he became a Christ-follower as well.  He spent the rest of his life serving Jesus in the community and in his church. 

If you're reading this and you are also a Christ-follower, it's because someone, recently or back in the day, got outside the four walls and of the church and took the Gospel to you. 

Kids and families desperately need the Gospel.  Look around and it is evident.  The fields are white to harvest.  But you don't harvest a field sitting in an office.  You harvest a field by getting out in the field. 

I want to challenge you to take a look at your ministry.  How much time each week is spent sharing the Gospel inside the walls of your church versus actually being out in your city sharing the Gospel?

Acts 1:8 makes it very clear about where we should be spending our time...

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 
And here is the good news...the power of the Holy Spirit is with you when you go.  He will empower you and speak to people on the inside while you speak to them on the outside.

It's time we take the next generation of believers outside the walls of the church.  One of the best ways to see kids grow in their faith is by taking them to share their faith outside the four walls of the church.

Here are some ideas for doing this.

Give kids invite cards and encourage them each week to pass them out and invite people to church.I remember a few years ago, a lady showed up at our church for the first time.  She told us she was a school crossing guard and one of the kids had handed her a card and invited her to come to church.

Plan of salvation bracelet.  Give each child a salvation bracelet.  You know the ones that have the colors that represent the Gospel.  Train kids how to use it to share their faith and then encourage them to use it to share the Gospel with at least one person each week.

Take kids out into the city to bless the community.  This can be things like passing out water bottles on a hot day, helping elderly widows with projects, painting a local school, etc.  One thing I have done in the past is use an ice cream truck to give out free ice cream and share the Gospel.  The kids from our church (4-5 of them) would share the Gospel with the kids who came up to get free ice cream. 

When you do things like this, you will find it helps kids grow in their faith.  When you take kids out into the community, it helps them to own their faith.

Gen Z (the next generation) is the largest generation on the planet with over 2 billion people.  They are the greatest mission field.  We must get outside the walls of our church so we can help as many of them as possible become Christ-followers.

Just remember...it's going to happen outside the walls of your church.  Come outside where the action is.   

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