First Impressions Matter part 2
Our impressions we make on people matter. Our first impression hold significant influence on how we are viewed. I don’t particularly like that so much is based off of one encounter, but it is a reality. We must take note of this as individuals and as the Church.
How do we make good first impressions as a Church? There was a quote I heard that I think is incredibly true. Kyle Idleman author of the book “Not a Fan” said, “What we win people with is what we win them to.”
We as the Church need to live with that reality. How are we doing to win people to the Lord? What are our means for evangelism and discipleship? Whatever we are doing to introduce people to the Lord is what they will think the Church is.
If we are winning people by having fancy Sunday services with lights, attractive worship leaders in trendy clothes, and the latest worship music, then that is what their picture of the Church and being a Christian is. They will think Christians come to a service once a week and call it Church and a good week as a follower of Christ.
Now am I saying these things are bad? No. Good musicians and occasionally lights can certainly help us have an intimate time of worshiping God. That is a good thing. But if in the process of creating a time in which we worship God, we often accidentally communicate that our lives as Christians is tied up with that one hour or hour and a half each week.
There are 168 hours in a week. Spending one hour in worship a week does not make us good disciples. People spend more time at concerts and watching specific television shows. Every hour in our week needs to be praise towards our God. Does that mean we ought to sing all the time? No. We praise and bring glory to God in how we live our lives. Every hour of our life should be dedicated to that goal.
So when we make the climax of our lives as Christians gathering to do a good thing of praising God, we communicate that is the DNA of being a Christian.
What if instead we one people to the Lord (I’m not a big fan of that terminology, but we will go with it) by being a loving community that reaches out to the needs of those who are suffering physically, spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically? What if that is what we won people with?
We then would be communicating that is what it means to be a Christian. We would be telling and showing people that following God is an hourly thing in which we commit to loving God and each other.
What if our first priorities were not on an hour a week, but on daily evangelism and discipleship? What if we were on our hands and knees praying with people and teaching them to read the Bible to learn and grow with our amazing God?
What if instead of bringing people to “church” we were the Church and reached out to those around us with our brothers and sisters?
When we attract people with good musicians, lights, and magnetic public speaker, new comers do not know how to get plugged in. They see their possible roles as being a talented musician, technology person, or public speaker. Sure we provide them with other ways to get involved. We have lists for them to choose from, but they will consider those things items for the entree of coming to a service once a week.
If we are completely honest, it seems the early church gathered to pray and give praise to God on a daily basis. So I am in no way dissing formal times of worshiping God. I am asking if that should be the primary aspect of what the Church is.
So let us envision a Church were people are not seeking to get a spiritual buzz once a week, but instead envision a church that is an active, outgoing, and life giving community to the individuals who are spiritually sick in this world.