I’m curious about networking and marketing so I check out books from the likes of Seth Godin. Truly it’s loading up my mind with the concept that is worth thinking about. But one book that I came across gave something for me to think about. “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi it’s a good book on the subject and lots of stuff can be said on the importance of networking. But when he mention about his church, we Christians should take notice of this. In his networking strategy, he employs inviting someone to his church to make a sort of mutual connection to the people he wants to be acquainted with. On page 92 of this bestseller we read:
“Besides food and exercise, I sometimes take people to church. That’s right, church. I attend a mostly African-American and Hispanic Catholic Church in Los Angeles—St. Agatha’s. It’s wonderfully “unorthodox.” Instead of “passing the peace” in the form of a simple handshake, a gospel choir belts out uplifting tunes while the congregants walk around the church hugging each other for ten minutes. It’s an amazing scene. I don’t try to foist my beliefs on anyone; the people I bring along—whether an actor or lawyer or an atheist or Orthodox Jew—tend to see my invitation as a kind of personalized gift. It shows them that I think so highly of them that I’m willing to share such a deeply personal part of my life.”
It is truly elevating to see members of a church to invite guest which are mostly unbelievers on Sunday. It’s a chance for them to see our worship service, how we fellowship and how everyone function in the body of Christ. Most importantly it’s an opportunity for them to hear the gospel. I hope every Bible believing church will do this and encourage members to invite people who don’t know Christ. I can see it’s also a chance for those shy type Christians to evangelize friends and family. But if the intention is somewhat other that telling them about Jesus, well that’s a different story. I won’t invite people to church to have some business deals. I’m inviting them to hear the good news that is the most important news on earth. Doing so is disrespecting the church and Christ.
I think this kind of ‘invitation’ stems from two misconceptions: the true meaning of church and edifying the church. Church is not a building nor is it an organization. The people are the church. Redeemed by Christ’s blood at the cross, they are “called out” from darkness to light with one purpose: to glorify God. Any dealing outside the main purpose embraced by the church is disgraceful to the One who died for us at Calvary. If a person considers church to be a building or structure then the mind set will be its just another venue or place where we can socialize, get connected with others and widen our influence. Second, the role of believer to the church is that it edifies other members through different ministry functions like preaching, teaching, giving etc. The Holy Spirit enables us to do so in our various gifts. But can you find edification by bringing someone who has no business of edifying others? Can we treat church as a mere social club? Sadly Christians are guilty of this. They go to church not just to do business but find their friends, catch up with them while forgetting the One who is the reason that there is a church. Remember it’s Sunday and we should settle whatever transactions we have with the world on week days.
I hope this will reinforce our minds on what church is so in the end the respect and honor that is due will be met. In return we will see ourselves more mature and sensitive on how God views His church.