First impressions are tricky – she was a sharp, attentive, well-spoken young adult standing by herself in the center of our “lobby.” I introduced myself, and as we shook hands, her hand came away shaking. Then, I saw her – really saw her. She’s thinking, “I’m terrified to be in a strange place, with all new people, in a religious environment where she had no clue what to expect!” Everyone looked like they knew where they were going, what they were doing, who they were looking for, except her. I could see she felt alone. She knew what she was looking for, she just wasn’t sure that we had it.
Put yourself in her shoes – new place, new people, strange spiritual environment. What does she need? She needs a friend – someone who will invite her into their life, sit with her, ask her questions, tell her she’s in the right place, show her what to do to feel at home in our tribe, give her personal info, invite her to coffee later (as a married man, I’m not doing the last one, but I can introduce her to someone who will – haha).
She was looking for people who had authentic spiritual expressions of the Jesus Christ of the Bible. You see, she grew Catholic and found spirituality, and lost the Church in the process. She has a hunch that Jesus could be the center of her spirituality, but she needs to find people who know Him that way. And so she found us, but she’s not sure yet that we’re the right people. And she’s scared that we’re weird – which we are, but we’re just the right kind of weird for her – haha. So many people just like her will file into our doors this Sunday, Christmas Eve at all Gatherings. They need to find Jesus through us – will we be the authentic friendly people who will invite them into our lives?
–>This is my charge to you as your Lead Pastor – Come to the Christmas Eve Gatherings. Look for people who are disconnected. Invite them into your life. You have the opportunity to be Jesus to someone this Sunday – how exciting! See you there!