Monday, June 05, 2006

The Church Is A Great Investment

A woman came into my office the other day at the end of her rope. I won't go into her problems or what happened to her, but I want to focus on one thing she said to me.

"I'm so alone. I have no one."

She was right.

Her husband divorced her. Her 18 year old son is a drug addict and left home a year ago. She has no idea where he is. Her parents are long dead. No siblings. No friends.

She talked about being a Christian, but said she didn't ever go to church.

That's when it hit me -- the church is a great investment.

I mean, it costs nothing. No membership fees at all. Yes, you are asked to give, but you don't have to.

Most programs we offer are free -- even if there is a fee, if you can't pay, you can't pay. What fee do we charge? The cost of the book for a study -- but if you can't pay we still give you the book and you take the class.

Meals? We sometimes charge for events that are catered, but even then, you can't pay -- come anyway. Besides, most meals are covered dish. All you can eat, free of charge -- or at most, all you can eat in exchange for you bringing some dish to share.

But that's not the best part.

The best part is friendship.

Connections.

I watch my members interact. Someone comes to church as a stranger, and by next week they are part of the family. They are going out to someone's small group meeting in a home. They join in the group to go to a baseball game -- OK, there is a charge for that one :)

Get sick, someone is fixing you a meal.

Get into trouble, someone is there by your side afterward.

Somewhere in life, beyond the kindergarden art class and the elementary playground and the high school dance and the college beer tasting event -- the ability to connect on a deep level vanishes.

You go to work and you have co-workers. Or maybe colleagues.

You go to Rotary and you have a weekly stranger you eat next to.

But go to church, and you have fellowship. Friendship.

Salvation aside -- that's a great investment.

3 Comments:

Blogger St. Casserole said...

I agree!

10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Post!

8:01 PM  
Blogger DennisS said...

And yet, the Church is full of disappointment and loss.

Somehow it seems that people get out of Church what they put into it (in the long run). I don't think the mention of "free" really helps anyone be a Christian. Instead, it builds an expectation of wish fulfillment and of entitlement for hand outs.

Community is a major point - that we are not on our own, seeking enlightenment in the way of Buddha.

It's not free. It's people giving to others because they care. It's hospitality in the way and name of Jesus.

It's not so much an investment as a way of life - regardless the costs.

9:09 PM  

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