I love to grill.
I love to eat grilled food even more.
That’s what brought me to my deck on a recent 100 degree day.
I have a gas grill but I love the taste that charcoal gives. I add applewood chips to add even more flavor.
Those burgers were good!
The chicken was even better!
Staring into the coals as they heated, I was struck a simple fact. Before they are ready to cook, they have to be close to one another. They need the heat from each other before they are ready to be spread out and do their amazing work of preparing my feast.
We were made to bring God’s amazing flavor to this world.
We need each other to accomplish this. With that connection to each other, we have the strength to spread out and influence the world.
I know a few “Lone Ranger” Christians. They’re awesome people. But, for some reason or another, they avoid the local church.
More often than not, the reason is past experience. They have been shunned for something they said or did. In some cases, it was something that happened to them through no fault of their own. They have endured insults for having different political views or styles. Worse, they have been ignored in their times of need.
In case you thought this was going to be a blog urging believers who aren’t part of a church to join a church, it isn’t. I would absolutely welcome them into our church. But this blog is directed at those of us who are connected to local churches.
We desperately need to correct the attitudes that drive people away from church.
This is not a social club.
When I was in Bible college, I developed a vision for what I would like to see in a church I would lead. Circumstances prevented my completion of that program so I am one of many volunteers instead of a pastor. But the vision remains.
Being a history buff, I envisioned the church like a castle.
It is a place where people come to fellowship, train, find protection, heal, and celebrate. It is a place where our various talents and styles come together to create a vibrant, growing community. It is a place where we are challenged to excel.
Without that place, we don’t have the community to grow within and we are subject to attack by an enemy we have no defense against.
If you are living an isolated life, know that you are welcome at Orchard Church and at many other good churches around the world. Here, we have a saying:
If you are in a church, look around and see if your church is doing its part successfully. If not, bring about change so that many more could find refuge and fellowship within that community. Do your part to welcome those who would otherwise be driven away.
I’ll step down from my soap box now and enjoy the smoky goodness of my grill.