I often wonder what the world sees when it looks from the outside in on the church.
I had a pretty crazy experience recently. I was at an event where I was amidst 200 other people but I felt completely left out. The event was an upcoming hype where participants receive a pair of headphones and have to act out/dance whatever instructions are given to them via these headphones. I didn’t receive headphones. With the result being me looking in on a bunch of “crazies” dancing and doing silly things because I couldn’t hear the instructions given to them. Had someone just given me a pair of headphones I probably would have been the silliest of them all but I couldn’t join in on the fun because the source of their fun was that one voice that I couldn’t hear…
I guess you know where I’m going with this post.
What do they see when they look in on us? Are they seeing a bunch of people doing things that they don’t understand or are they seeing a bunch of people that are willing to hand them a pair of headphones and make them part of the crowd?
We are often so selfish. We don’t care about anyone else. We are just so relieved that we can actually hear The Voice and we forget how it was when we were outsiders not being able to participate. We forget how lonely a place this world can be. But instead of zooming in on the ones without the headphones, we only focus on those ones that have already received a pair. We can really be like an ingrown toenail sometimes. Festering in our own knowledge. Obesely equipped and not exercising at all.
Church! Our main aim in this life should be to hand out as many pairs of headphones as we possibly can. It is to connect people to that One Voice. The Voice that will give them instructions and by following these instructions they will be able to join in on the abundant life of getting to hear God and being able to obey Him. Through obedience they can receive every blessing as their inheritance. They must want headphones!
For them to want to receive headphones, they actually have to be at the event. Invite them to church. Invite them for a braai. Invite them. Goodness, we need to start inviting people.
For them to want to receive headphones, we need stir a hunger for it. So talk to them. Talk to them about their day. Their job. Their family. Their hobbies. Talk to them about their car. The weather. Their favourite movie. Just talk. Build relationship. Earn trust. Talk to them in a way that is different than what they are used to. When you talk, be present. Be interested. Speak truth. They will want what we have when we convey Him in our conversations. We don’t need to bombard them with Jesus by what we are actually saying. A lot of times people experience Him by how we react to what they are saying.
For them to want to receive headphones, we must make it look like fun to wear headphones. C’mon! Being a Christian is not dull and boring. It is probably the most exhilarating thing that we will ever experience. It is scary at times but it can be such an adrenaline rush. It really is living on the edge. So why does it seem boring to people “on the outside?” I’ll tell you why: because we are still stuck in religion most of the time. We need to sort it out. True freedom in Christ is one of the most attracting things in someone. What are we, as ambassadors for our Jesus, portraying to people who don’t know Him yet? Think about that…
I was a wild child. A party animal to the max. My idea of fun in those days was definitely not to go to a small group on a Wednesday evening. But it took one truly free Christian girl to change my mind. She was present in conversation. She never slandered or gossiped but always spoke truth and I remember thinking that she was the wisest person I’ve ever come across. She never judged. She always loved. She invited me. She stirred a hunger in my heart to know Jesus. And she was fun to be with. Due to her I get to wear headphones and I am forever grateful.
Have you handed out any headphones lately?