I was watching a show the other day and saw all the highlights of New York. I saw Times Square, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. It occurred to me that there is a whole lot of living that goes on between the landmarks.
I looked it up, there are over 8 million people who live in the city of New York.
Wes and I were talking yesterday. The automobile is such a basic thing, yet every once in a while it occurs to us that every one of those vehicles during rush hour represents one or two people – a home – a life. There’s a whole lot of living going on right here in Seattle.
When we are thinking through our plans for reaching the masses, do we think of them kind of like rush hour traffic? Rush hour traffic is something that you need to get knowledgeable of so that you can master it.
Real people have real lives. They get rocks in their shoes. Their brothers get cancer. Their cars go in the shop. They like coffee, tea, water. Their kids get awards and tardy slips. Real people live real lives.
As we go into Easter, many of our churches will be looking for ways to get the neighbors to come into the church. I think that sometimes we’ve approached these marketing campaigns like controlling traffic. Putting up roadblocks and trying to funnel people into the church.
Instead, let’s consider the living that’s going on in those homes. God meets people in transition. What transitions are they going through? How can we meet them at their point of need and help move them to the next step? How can we be of service to them where they are at?
What if, instead of asking them to come to us, we sent something to them? Gave them a web address that would give them a real resource that would meet a real need? Maybe a teaching on finances or time management?
What if we had the people in our church looking for ways to serve instead of ways to invite? What if our resources were online so that they could serve and offer an invite by showing someone a website? I’m not talking about watering down the gospel at all. I’m talking about meeting people where they live and talking their language first, helping them realize their need. After all, they aren’t cars or buildings or neon lights. They are people, whose lives are very loud, and they spend hours each day in traffic.