As a pastor, I understand the temptation of simply existing as a “Come and See” ministry.
Instead of pursuing those who are lost, it is easy to hope people stumble into the doors of our churches, feel warmly welcomed and decide to follow Jesus.
Don’t get me wrong. This kind of thing can happen. In fact, last month, a young man, felt like “something” drew him into an event while I preached. Despite the fact this was his first time in a church building, he decided to follow Jesus. This young man, came, saw, and loved it.
Why wouldn’t we want to operate as a “Come and See” ministry?
We have the lights, haze, cool furniture and friendly smiles. We have atmospheric ambiance and catchy worship songs. We even have huge screens, free coffee in the foyer, and once a month, at least to the guest, we have shots of wine (or grape juice)!
I think many of us have bought into this strategy, but let’s look at something Jesus says after He invites himself over for dinner at a tax collector’s house. What Jesus says is something crucial for the church today, and something we must never forget.
After Jesus invites Himself over to a stranger’s house for dinner, people muttered in disdain, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” None of that mattered, though, because of what Jesus said.
He said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the Lost.” (Luke 19:10)
I wonder how our church lighting, sound systems, and stage designs compare to heaven.
Do you think the Elders, as they sing “holy, holy, holy” wish they were hanging out with our greeting teams and drinking our Folgers? Probably not.
If anybody could validate a “Come and See” ministry, it’d be Jesus (heaven is very appealing), but He chose to seek and save the lost. He wasn’t content with waiting and hoping people somehow arrived in Heaven. Jesus decided to seek, abandon the luxuries of Heaven, leave the ninety-nine, become one of us, put on human skin, so that we could have “life and life more abundantly.”
When was the last time we invited ourselves over for dinner at a sinner’s house? That’s exactly what Jesus did with Zacchaeus, and how that tax collector in Luke 19 found salvation. It was also the same reason Jesus was judged. When was the last time we threw ourselves into the world of a non-Christian? Jesus said He came to seek and save the lost to clarify His mission amongst those who thought religious leaders shouldn't associate with the spiritually impure. Instead of existing as a "Come and See" ministry, I believe we should follow the path Jesus paved for ministry.
Let’s adopt the way Jesus ministers into our ministries.
Jesus came to seek and save the lost, so let’s not be content with being seeker sensitive.
Jesus invited Himself over for dinner at a tax collector’s house, so let’s not be “above reproach” to the point we aren’t friends of sinners.
Jesus left Heaven to save our lost souls, so let’s not be content with waiting in churches for people to find us.