The Warmth Of Welcome

For years as a Christian, I found myself frustrated by churches that, in my experience, kept God inside the box of religion. Growing up in a Pentecostal denomination and charismatic churches, I was taught about tellings others about my relationship with God and what the Bible calls the gifts of the Spirit, but helping someone come to know God always equated to bringing them to church, where many of them would never go. However, I always believed that as a Christian, I needed to do as Paul and Jesus did: infiltrate culture to introduce others to Christ.

Church leaders informed me that I needed to do full-time work in a church, locked up with the same people and the same attitudes. However, my ideal of full-time ministry was through unusual methods, most of which involved being among those who are not Christians. I was frustrated for years because my ideas were shot down and discouraged. Especially during my time in college, I often wondered, why do Christians seem so separated from the rest of humanity? Why do Christians keep what they have inside four walls? To me it didn’t make sense. Now, I see the importance of taking the love of Jesus to reach outside the church’s walls into the “real world.”

Getting outside the church is about meeting real needs in real people and seeing our own needs met in the process. It’s about taking the unusual and unexpected methods as well as traditional methods to influence culture with the love of God. I started my own business and through this, I’ve been able to model God’s attributes of honesty and integrity, as well as create the right atmosphere of love in reaching out to those I work with. I believe that the righteousness, morality, ethics and the love of God need to return to business, and of course, we also need to bring the truth of the Gospel to those in the business world who would not otherwise hear it.

I threw a party with a mix of Christians and non-Christians. The atmosphere was one of love, acceptance and warmth. Of those I invited, about half were people who had professed faith in Christ; the rest were co-workers and individuals whose lives never really consisted of a relationship with God.

However, all coming from various cultures and backgrounds, they found common ground and intersected with a love many had never experienced. God’s love was present. Later, people who came described it to me as warm and welcoming, even though initially, they all were strangers. Their response brought Romans 2:4 to mind: “For it is the kindness of God that leads to repentance, not his judgment or anger.”

Do the people of the world feel judged when they’re around Christians? Or do Christians welcome them with God’s love?

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See Also

HYPER-ACTIVE CHURCH INVOLVEMENT

THE ATHENS APPROACH TO EVANGELISM

READ MORE GOD | POST COMMENTS BELOW

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