The secret Language of Christians

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

This comes from Greg Lawrie, Harvest Ministries.

“When nonbelievers visit a church, they are not only checking out what is happening up front, but they are also checking out what is going on around them. They are watching your reaction. Do you care? Are you paying attention? Is this important to you? Should it be important to them?

And maybe there are times when visitors don’t know the protocol. But before we start to judge, let’s stop and ask ourselves, do we know their story? Is this their first time at church? They don’t know what they are supposed to wear. They don’t know what slogan is acceptable on a T-shirt. They don’t know what to say.

Some Christians might turn them away and say, “I am sorry. You can’t come in here. You are not dressed appropriately.” And guess what? That makes God angry, because the church is a place to hear the Word of God. The church is a place to worship the Lord. The church is a place to pray. And the church is a place for sinners to come and find God.

If someone comes to church who doesn’t know the protocol or the dress code or the secret language of Christians, and they are turned away or made to feel uncomfortable because of some judgmental stare from a believer, then we are missing it. We should look at those people and go out of our way to welcome them, to make them feel loved. We should never keep people from Christ. We should always be drawing them to Christ.

Are you a bridge or a barrier to people coming to Christ? Every Christian tends to be one or the other. We are all examples, whether we want to be or not. The question is, are we good examples or bad ones?”

I read this ,this morning, and it is something I have been thinking about myself, especially as we get back into “Messy Church”. The “main” church has invited  the M.C. members to join them for a Church Service.  This puts me in a difficult position and I obviously haven’t communicated properly with our church members. Messy Church IS CHURCH!   It may not be on a Sunday with a Hymn sandwich but it is still Church.Those who come  feel able to join in with out any pressure, they come at a time convenient for them and share a meal and  then worship  and crafts. How would they feel about coming to a “normal” service?
On Sunday, as we were still on holiday, we attended the Baptist Church, my spiritual home, not this particular church but the denomination. They had a wonderful family service, and although restricted to their seats most of the time, there were quizzes and competitions and children could roam if they  needed to. I was impressed, so this may be my compromise,if the Rev. agrees, invite them into church but allow as much freedom in the service as pews allow. Hoping that the regular members are not upset by it. If anyone has any experience of this I would  value your comments.



2 thoughts on “The secret Language of Christians

  1. Another minister's mrs

    Hi, we’re in a rural parish too, we have had all age services that have activites and visual prayers and most of the ‘old and bold’ have been happy to go with it because the children are there.
    We decorated stones on palm Sunday – so that the stones would cry out praise. Lots of flat stones (about the size of a hand) and felt pens. The stones were in the pews when folk arrived, pens given out later on. Just about everyone decorated a stone! (and said afterwards how much they had enjoyed it!) When it came to the offering we all got up and took our offering and stones with us, in one big circle we went clockwise round the church putting the stones outside along the path to the door and our offering into the basket at the front, whilst singing a lot of verses of ‘we are marching in the light of God’. (Helps if you have a church with two aisles!).
    We’ve had a prayer at the start that was ‘eyes open’ and the person leading the prayer held up various items to help us visualise the prayer – we put down a rucksac of big difficult things at Jesus’ feet, gave him a blanket wraping those we were concerned about for him to watch over and asked him to look after a pretty box of little things that might distract us. Then we had a bin sack for all the rubbish in our lives, and asked him to wash us clean from the grubbiness we feel inside (bowl and soap) then to dry us in the big towel of his love. Then we looked outside (clear glass in our windows) and thanked him for the wonderful world he made and his relationship with us and then we looked at the folk round about us and thanked him for friends and family and then together said the family (Lord’s) prayer.
    Other things that have worked were to have worksheets – colouring in, word searches etc to help us think about the words in the reading (fruits of the spirit, beatitudes). Had some fun with the beatitudes – trying to get the two halves of each of them paired back together again – done in groups as pews allowed.
    Roaming is fine 🙂 it helps if your Rev can ignore/welcome (as appropriate) small ones coming to investigate and play in the big space he has at the front! If he says at the begining, before the service starts that anyone, small ones especially, are welcome to move around during the service it should help everyone to be less stressed about it. Our rev mentions where the loo is at this point too. (We have coffee before the service so he often mentions it so that visitors don’t have to sit and wriggle).
    Hope your MC enjoys a visit to Sunday church – if the folks from another denomination’s congregation came to visit then you’d probably modify things to make them more comfortable so folk might see this visit like that. I hope Sunday church enjoy a visit to MC too!

    1. This is wonderful, thanks so much for your help. It would work very well.Our only problem is that there are NO loos in 5 of the 6 churches. The Rev. has “an office” around the back……! I’ll let you know how it goes!

I would love to hear your comments and will try to reply ASAP.

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