I recently read a newspaper article about a pastor that opened a "Bar Church" in Springfield, Illinois. The pastor spoke about meeting people where they are comfortable. He spoke of the negative experiences that some people have encountered with traditional churches and overcoming these perceptions of the church. He was not condoning drunkenness, but He wanted to be able to reach individuals that were more comfortable meeting in a bar than they are in a traditional church building.
Maintaining our "traditional" churches plays an important role in furthering God's kingdom, but in what is commonly called "The Great Commission," Jesus sends His disciples out into the world to tell His story and bring followers to God. Jesus asked those first disciples and He asks us to go out and spread the word.
Throughout His life, Jesus did not avoid meeting the scorned, despised, and low class people of His day. He did not worry about what others thought when He met controversial types of people...even in their own homes! Jesus did not require a dress code or an upstanding family history. Jesus did not always accept the lifestyles of those He met, nor did He forget the morals and expectations of God His Father. However, He did show love, forgiveness, and chances to change from a life of sin to a life in Him!
We need to remember the example set by Jesus, to meet people where they are at any point or condition of life and to tell them the good news of forgiveness and everlasting life in Jesus! We need to embrace people with God's unconditional love. Through our words, our actions, or a combination of the two, we can show that God's love is for everyone, everywhere!
Thank You for finding me and trusting me with furthering Your kingdom. Please give me the strength, knowledge, and skill to live a life for You with all of my words and actions, so that more people can be enfolded in Your love and forgiveness. In Jesus' name, Amen.