Here is a true story. I have a neighbor, I'll call him Joe. Joe loves God! When he and his family moved into the neighborhood a couple of years ago I had a great time talking with him about his past Church experiences. He and the family used to be very active in a church in another part of the State several years ago. Joe even was the worship leader of this church. Joe told me that God had been giving him revelations on the importance of Grace and he really liked what I was telling him about our church, New Covenant Grace Fellowship in Inverness, FL. A year or so ago I gave Joe a copy of my book, "The River is Here: My Journey Into New Covenant Grace." A day or so later I met Joe at our mail boxes. He told me that he had devoured the book in just a couple of settings. His exact words were, "Larry, that is the best book I've ever read!" He then told me that he needed to visit our church. As of this writing Joe has never stepped through the door of our church! Yet, every time I see Joe at the mailboxes he asks, "How's the church going? I've got to get there one of these days!" And he never makes it!
I have been perplexed by Joe and the many others just like Joe that I've come in contact with over the past few years. I see daily how the "message," for lack of a better word, of New Covenant Grace is setting people so free that I just cannot understand why people don't stand in line to get it! I just don't get it!
As far as Joe goes, my feeling is that he and his family just got burned out in past church experiences. As a result they haven't gone to a church in several years, they are out of the habit, and to be honest, just a little lazy about making the effort to attend. I guess there could always be the thought in mind of, "I've been there, I've done that and I've bought the T shirt!" So, it just isn't worth the effort to get involved in a church again, after all, "I might get hurt!" As a result of this thinking so many are just comfortable with making Sunday morning just another part of their very busy weekend, in other words, play! play! play! (or sleep in, whatever the case may be!)
One of my challenges is to share Grace with the people of our community who feel just like Joe. I and many others believe that being a part of our church is very beneficial and healthy for those who do so. Here is a short video testimony of Jackie Hallock. Jackie has been transformed over the past couple of years. Watch and see for yourself: Jackie's Testimony
I know that many people these days no longer attend a local church. They have been hurt, are burned out, distracted by life and no longer see the benefit of church attendance. In many cases, I would agree as there is no way I would ever attend a church that mixes law with grace! However, we are not kidding when we state that our goal is to make certain that when people attend one of our services that they leave that service feeling better about themselves than when they arrived. I believe that we are doing a pretty good job at that.
So....what do you think.....Is there really a good reason for you not attending a church service this coming Sunday morning? Something to think about!
Grace and peace!