I love the church at SoHills. And yet, there is something that bothers me.
Let me take you back a few Sundays and see if I can explain. It was Sunday, December 20, and we were at the Civic Center for our Community Christmas Celebration. The singing was incredible. Phil’s message was powerful. The gift presentation of "Welcome" mats to our Habitat family was touching.
As I walked out of the Civic Center that morning I heard wonderfully encouraging comments and some powerful stories about what God is doing in the lives of our SoHills church family and the lives of our friends.
And then it happened.
As I drove away from the Civic Center on that Sunday so excited about the day, I saw this:
I saw our city... Abilene. And I was reminded of a sobering truth. As excited as I was over what had happened that Sunday, MOST of Abilene had no clue. MOST of Abilene was still no closer to a growing relationship with Jesus than when the day began.
This bothered me. It bothered me so much that I've spent the last couple of weeks with a gnawing feeling in my gut. But as the days progressed and a New Year draws near, I thought, I shouldn’t keep this quiet. I want this to bother you too.
It bothers me that there are still more unchurched people than ever before living less than a mile from the front door of the SoHills church building. This has bothered me so much that I have spent a lot of time thinking about what to do. And I think I have an idea that might be worth exploring. Granted, it’s not the most original or creative idea, but it actually might be the best one to pursue... at least at first. Okay, here it is:
I want us as a church to begin 2010 with prayer and fasting. Now, before you mutter, click and leave this page... stay with me for a moment.
It’s my experience that, generally speaking, many Christians aren’t investing in unbelievers. If we’re not careful, we will drift into holy huddles of believers and isolate ourselves. Maybe we just don’t know how to bridge the gap and begin a conversation about Jesus. So we immerse ourselves in our daily lives and soon we aren’t spending time with anyone who isn’t already a follower of Jesus. I just don’t want us to drift into that danger zone. After all, one of the reasons SoHills church exists is as a resource for you to use to reach those who are far from God.
The good news is that our church continues to grow. The bad news is that the number of the unchurched in Abilene is growing faster. This bothers me.
But what if that trend could change in 2010? What if each of us prayed and developed a Kingdom of God ache for at least one person in our circles of influence? What if we prayed and fasted, becoming more passionate for our community to know Jesus than ever before? What might happen?
Frankly, I don’t know what would happen. But I do know that I would like to find out.
Okay, that’s all. Thanks for listening. But until our city hears the great news about Jesus, and sees it lived out in us, I will remain bothered.
I hope you will too.
Happy New Year!