Billy's Blog
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January 9, 2018, 11:16 AM

Something More

We should do the right thing without needing any exterior motivation, right? 

We should eat right and exercise and keep our weight under control just because it's good for us. 

We should save money and spend wisely simply because it's the right thing for our finances. 

We should do our best at our jobs and our school work simply because it's what we should do. 

But don't you love being motivated? Don't you love when there's a prize for losing the most weight? Don't you love when you can get something for saving the most money? Don't you love performance bonuses at work or getting a prize from your parents for getting good grades? 

We love a little something more. 

Part of my job as a minister is to motivate. I want to motivate people to be the best they can be. One of the things that I try to do is to get people to invite other people to church. But why should I do that? I know it's the right thing to do, but I need a little motivation. I need a little something more to get me going. I need a bigger picture of why I would do this. 

1. People meet Jesus at church. 

I love the line in the movie, Forrest Gump, where Lt. Dan asks Forrest if had found Jesus. Forrest replies, "I didn't know I was supposed to be looking for him." Many people come to church looking for Jesus and they find him. If they had not come to church they would have never heard about Jesus. 

Peter Jankowski walked into our church building in St. Helens, Oregon when I was a kid. He was born and raised in the Buffalo, NY area, and I'm really not sure how he got to us. He looked pretty rough. He had long hair, a long beard, and he had one leg and he was on crutches. All I remember is looking back and seeing him walk in the door. It wasn't long after that that Peter got baptized and his life changed dramatically. He has been a pillar of that church for 30 plus years. 

Peter is why you invite people to church. They meet Jesus there. 

2. People get hope at church

There are so many who are living day in and day out without any hope. They have given up hope on their marriage. They have given up on hope on their kids. They have given up on hope on their career. They have been given up on themselves. I've talked to people who have considered suicide but heard something at church that changed their mind. I could tell you story after story of people that have come to church and have told me that something that happened there gave them hope. 

It might have been a song. It might have been a conversation with someone. It might have been the sermon or a testimony that someone gave. People walk into church buildings every week without hope and leave with something to believe in. 

3. People realize people care at church

I looked at several top 10 fears lists and I found that rejection was on almost all of them. Rejection and loneliness go hand in hand. When people come to church they realize that there are people in the world that won't reject them. They realize that they don't have to be alone. I talked to someone the other day who had moved to Washington, DC for a job and knew no one. They knew absolutely no one. I asked them what they did. How do you live and survive if you know no one at all? They said, "I went to church." This person took a 45 minute train ride and then walked another 15 minutes to get to church so they would not be lonely. The church helps peoople realize that they don't have to be lonely. 

4. People find family at church

One of the coolest things I've seen the church do for people is provide the family they never really had. I have dealt with so many who come from families that were not really families. One young lady came to church and both of her parents had been drug addicts. Her dad had been in and out of prison her whole life. When she came to the church she found family. She found a family that would support her and nurture her in a way that her really family would not. 

She was so faithful to the church, and it was because the church had been faithful to her. The church was the one group of people who had never abandoned her. She found a loving family at church. 

Jesus told a parable about a banquet in Luke 14. I really love this verse, “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full." Luke 14:23

Jesus valued inviting people, because of what you were inviting them to. Some of the last words that Jesus uttered on earth were all about going out and inviting people. Jesus knew the value of this, because if people would accept the invitation their lives could change forever. 

I know that inviting people to church can sound cliche, or boring, or downright scary. I hope that you will see the value in it and see the bigger picture. Your simple invite could change someone's life for eternity. That should be some good motivation! 

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