A few years ago I was listening to Christian Radio in my truck on the way home and heard a commercial for a sound and lighting company that specialized in churches. The ad was highlighting the use of computers, big screens, DVD, and multimedia in order to reach all generations of believers, to “draw” them in to the church of the 21st century. WHAT?!
Now don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with any of those items being used in the church. I am Mr. Technogeek. But when those items become the “feature” that brings people to church, then I have a problem. When people say that the main reason they go to a particular church is because that church has a great worship band or because they use movie clips, then I have a problem.
So what should be the “draw”? What should attract people to church? In a word, Jesus. What does that mean? It does not mean that you go to church because its so energetic and the preacher is really on fire/excited all the time. It does not mean that all kinds of miracles and signs are going on every week. It means that you see Jesus in the people. You see His love for the world oozing out of the people. It means that you see genuine, Biblical Christianity being realized, not just practiced. How do the people get that way? Because they are taught, they are immersed in the Word of God.
So many churches are so worried about their attendance. They try various seminars, “relevant” topical teaching series, and church growth bonanzas to learn how to get people into their church and keep them there. When a church has to market itself like some kind of resort or health spa, when a church has to maintain an image, it ceases to be the body of Christ and becomes a showcase of Christian values.
John 6:44 says “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” It is God who is the draw-er. He draws them to Jesus. God’s Holy Spirit works in the hearts of people in such a way that they recognize their lack of Jesus and therefore their need of Him. One place in which they can experience Jesus is at a gathering of His people we call “church”.
This brings me back to the original problem. Instead of become a place where people are drawn by the Lord, Church has become a show for people to go to. Church has become an event featuring eye candy. Church has become a joke for the world to laugh at. Christian, be the draw. Let your life be the draw. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16. Where does this light from within come from? “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5. How does God get in you? “I [Jesus] am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.” John 15:5.
Christian, be the draw.