“It is fine if people come to Vacation Bible School because it is a week of free child care. It is OK if people come only on Wednesday nights for an inexpensive supper and not the Bible study. It is faithful to welcome kids to our youth group even if they have not been to worship in weeks. Or ever. Jesus doesn’t lament that the crowd has come to him for more to eat. He doesn’t fault them for not getting the magnitude of his ministry. He meets them where they are and then gives them more than they’d hoped for or expected. Could we do this, too?”
This is from an article written by Jill Duffield as she reflects on the lectionary passage for this Sunday (Ephesians 4:1-16; John 6:24-35). She concludes her reflection with several interesting questions. Here are a few of them for you to consider on your own or talk about with your friends:
- Take a look at your (church) website, Facebook page, signage on the church property, information in the pews and elsewhere as if you had never been to your church before. Look at all these things as if you’d never been to any church before. What do you discover? Ask others to do this and then talk about it. Better yet, ask someone who has never been to church to take a look and share with you their thoughts.
- Invite people to submit questions about issues of faith (the Bible, worship, baptism, communion, etc.) anonymously either in paper or digitally. Find ways to share those questions and offer answers.
- Pope Francis talks about evangelism in terms of encounter, attraction and accompaniment. Read more about it here. Do you see that in this text? Is this an approach to evangelism that you could emulate?
[If you’d like to read more, visit the “Looking into the Lectionary” page on The Presbyterian Outlook website. You can sign up to receive their weekly emails that have reflections on the lectionary text for that week.]