By Greg Johnson
You’re outside working in the yard while we kids are out riding bikes. You look around the neighborhood and see that there are a lot of folks outside doing yard work.
This is a good neighborhood, you think.
You know how important it is to try and share your faith with neighbors, but so far, you haven’t had a lot of opportunities. Everyone always seems busy, and most of the time, you never even see them. They come home from work, press their electric garage-door openers, drive in and disappear until the next morning. The farthest you ever get with most of them is “Hi, how are you doin’?” Which always evokes a “Fine, how about you?”
The neighbors next door are a perfect example. You know the husband’s and wife’s names, but you’re fairly certain they don’t know yours. How do you share your faith with people if you never talk to them and they can’t even remember your name? you think.
This day, you decide to take your hedge trimmers and walk over to start a conversation.
As you make small talk at first, the conversation goes from the weather to your jobs to the neighbor down the street who doesn’t take care of his yard. You’re wondering how to bring the topic around to spiritual things, but there doesn’t seem to be an opportunity.
As the conversation starts to slow down, you look for a chance to make a graceful exit so you can return to your yard work. That’s when you hear a question you weren’t expecting.
“So what church do you go to?”
“Huh?” you say.
“I’ve noticed that every Sunday you head out fairly early. I assume you’re all going to church. Which one do you attend?”
“First Evangelical over off of Maywood. Have you ever been there?”
“No, we don’t go to church. It’s our only morning to sleep in. I used to go when I was a kid, but it got too boring and all the people ever did was argue about the pastor. My parents finally had enough and quit. Being a kid, I didn’t mind. Now when I see people heading off to church, I wonder if all churches are like ours was. Actually, sometimes I’ve even wondered why people would ever want to go at all.”
Questions to Think On
• How would you respond to this statement?
• Has anyone ever asked you why you go to church? What did you say?
• Have you ever had a bad experience with church so that you wondered if you should keep going?
• When I’m older, will I have a choice whether to go or not go to church?
What Does God Have to Say?
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. Romans 1:16
So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God 2 Timothy 1:8