benefit, bible studies, church walls, cocoon, comfort zone, crazy culture, God will use it, how to., obedient, own little world, pastor, reach out
COCOON: a) any of various similar protective coverings in nature, as the silky casein which certain spiders enclose their eggs. b) a protective covering, usually consisting of polyvinyl chloride, sprayed over machinery, large guns on board ships, etc., to provide an air-tight seal and prevent rust during long periods of storage. c) any encompassingly-protective or hermetic wrapping or enclosure resembling a cocoon.
So again with a pastor-mentioned blog… I’ve been thinking along these lines quite a bit recently. Reading articles and Bible studies that are fabulous, don’t get me wrong. But they are for the “insiders” of the church. The people who are pretty far along, mature, if you will, in their faith. And we NEED those.
But what about the newbies, the ones who don’t understand church-ese. The ones who cry out to God and understand what He allows them to, piece by piece. And what about the one person who isn’t yet a believer but is seeking. Does the one only see “too hard” and this makes no sense as it contradicts today’s crazy culture? If they only take the time to read that one article, do we turn them away by what it says?
Our pastor suggested that we in America have turned the church inward – essentially turned our church into a cocoon. We speak to other believers, we go to church and then we say nothing outside of the church walls. We are all guilty of this. And it’s been bothering me quite a bit recently. I feel as guilty about this as we all should.
Don’t you see, the happy smile on her face. The bliss and comfort she exudes in her own little world? And hey, that’s great sometimes. But we have been called to go outside of our comfort zone, to put in some work for things that won’t rust or be stolen, to lay up treasures in heaven.
Do we just go to church and see our friends and make plans? Folks, church is not to be merely a social gathering, but a place where we go learn HOW TO go out and share what we have learned, what we know, what we are sure of from the tops of our heads to the ends of our toes – that Jesus is the answer! That love actually does still happen in our world, that there is hope for them no matter what!
Ephesians 5:16 … making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Our churches MUST start being outward – not staying inside the four walls of our church, night after night. Yes, we NEED to go there, we NEED to learn and be filled up. But that’s not for our benefit – that’s for us to pour out on someone outside. Someone in need. Someone that God points out to you saying, “Go speak with that one”. And let’s DO IT when God tells us to!
One time my daughter and I were in Barnes and Noble – in the Christian section of books. And God kept on telling me to speak with this couple that was searching for a book. So I did. And I told them about our church and how amazing it is. And do you know what – they came! And have been coming every since. I’m not sure what it was that they needed, but God did. Maybe it was our church, maybe it was a friendly person to reach out, who knows! The point is to listen to that still small voice of the Holy Spirit and be obedient. God will use it!
Truly I could go on and on about this, taking it as far as love and pray for your enemies and those who are out to get you but you’d be here all day…
Part Two will be about lead them inside the church, get them saved and we are done, right?