28 Apr Mind Blown #OC17
I walked into Orange Conference 2017 three days ago and the first thing that struck me was this:
My mind flew through the millions of details that went into setting up just one breakout room—chairs, tables, speaker resources, handouts, slides, audio, recruiting someone to run tech, scheduling the speaker, running the devices used for check-in. Devices that had to sync with iPods on various WiFi channels. Devices run by volunteers who each had to have a badge, a t-shirt, meals.
Not to mention the store. The décor. All the communication, social media, vendors, the gallery, and resources.
Plus those main sessions.
But the thing that blew my mind was realizing that those logistics are a testament to the incredible vision behind Orange. And this year that vision did something radical. It stepped outside of the church and churched homes, and went into the unchurched neighborhoods of 7,000 people.
What we offer at church is important. Partnering with parents, discipling kids, leading people into growing relationships with Jesus Christ, doing life together, creating environments where people can worship and learn together. Those things are huge and help grow the faith of the church so that people can have personal relationships with God and reach more people.
But, here’s the thing: being good at church isn’t good enough because most people who don’t know Jesus won’t meet him at church because they don’t go to church.
But, they do go into their communities.
So, if we want more people to experience church, we need to go into our communities too.
Let’s stop waiting for unchurched people to show up at our churches . Jesus didn’t do that. He didn’t wait for people to show up while he was reading a scroll in the temple courts. He went out into the neighborhood to show that he was for them. And, guess what? Crowds of people started following him. Not all of them believed everything he said at first. But, they liked him. They saw something different in him. And they wanted to belong.
We, as the church, have a responsibility to show up in our communities and let them know that we are for them. Meet people. Get to know them. Show up again and again. Relentless, but agenda-less. Let them know that we are for them and allow them to learn that God is for them. And then, they might just realize that they like church people. That they want to belong even if they don’t believe.
And once they belong, it’s just a matter of time until they realize that what they love most about the church isn’t even the likeable people. It’s the reason they’re so likeable. And that reason is Jesus in them.