We just started looking at the principles we apply at our church for our Sunday morning (and Tuesday night) services in our attempt to reach truly lost, un- or anti-churched people. Today, principle #2: Wear Their Shoes.
If you’re trying to reach people who don’t currently go to church, and you’re hoping this person might show up to your service … well, put yourself in their shoes. If you’ve gone to church all your life, this will be difficult. But try to imagine: What does this person feel like coming to church if they haven’t been in a long time? What is he thinking if he got up early on a Sunday morning to come to check you out instead of doing what he normally does? What is he looking for? What does he see when he drives up, when he walks in, when he sits down? What does he hear? What does he smell? How does all of that impact him? What does it communicate to him about who you are? About what you care about? About what you really believe about what you say you believe?
And if that’s difficult for you to imagine, then wear your own shoes to someplace you’ve never been. What would the experience be like for you if you went to a mosque one weekend? How out of place would you feel? How nervous would you be? Or how about if you’ve never gone to the opera and suddenly find yourself there? Or what if it was a Mason’s meeting? Maybe consider not just imagining this, but actually going to something very new and extremely uncomfortable.
The second principle is … wear their shoes. Feel what they feel. Think like they think. See what they see. Hear what they hear.
This principle make sense to you? Good. So how will you apply it?
Next time we’ll talk about principle #3.
Until then … watch Mary J. Blige’s live performance of “No More Drama” at the 2002 Grammy’s. (Especially the last 2:20) (Not a fan of hers’, but dang!) (Wouldn’t hurt you to watch her do “Be Without You/Stay With Me” at the 2007 Grammy’s – especially the last minute. Again, dang!)
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