Please Don't Go To Church Tonight

Please beware: This is one of my yearly soapboxes that will likely offend the majority of my readers. I apologize in advance. Cute baby pictures to follow tomorrow...

Please don't go to church tonight. 

Go on Sunday. Go on Saturday. Go any night of the week you want, any night of the year, but please don't go tonight. 

Lots of churches have Fall Festivals tonight for lots of different reasons. Some of them are good reasons (to give kids in unsafe neighborhoods a chance to get safe candy), and some are bad reasons (to pretend like we don't celebrate Halloween - just Fall... in costumes... with candy...). 

Either way, please don't go. 

One of the most obvious arenas in which we as Christians can live-out Christianity in front of an unbelieving world is in our neighborhood.  We see those people mowing the yard while we're walking the dog. We wave as we get out to our cars at the same time to go to work. 

We know we should reach out to them. We know we should form connections with them. Because connections and relationships are the primary ways we are able to point others towards the hope that exists in a relationship with Christ. But, we "never get the chance" to cross the threshold of relationship with the people who live next door to us. Our personal connections are limited to waving and nodding. Something keeps us from crossing the street. 

Tonight is the one night where our neighbors come to us. Sure, they're being dragged by Frankenstein and Tinkerbell in hot pursuit of a bite-sized Snickers Bar. But they knock on our door and give us the chance to say hello... to begin a relationship... to learn their name. 

Nothing more. 

But nothing less. 

People who cloister themselves in Church tonight are missing an opportunity to live Christianity in front of people who don't know Christ, just so they can get candy from the already convinced.

What a sad trade-off. 

Please stay home. Meet someone new tonight. Begin a relationship. Not because Christ is an ulterior motive... because Christ-like living is our ultimate motive. 


Kara said...

We are going to church tonight, but I have invited the kids in our neighborhood to come with us. I hear what you are saying and you make a good point. Our KidFest at church shares the gospel with all that come through the doors, by acting out certain biblical scenes. WE get to sit and visit with parents and kids alike as the children play games at the carnival. So hopefully we are making an impact and building relationships!

Pilgrim said...

Excellent arguments.

Bobby said...

FREELAND!!! You are the man. Not only did you challenge my creativity as a ministry leader... but you also made me look up the word "cloister!"

Thanks man.