22 Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: 2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. 4 Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.’ 5 But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, 6 while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. 7 The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. 8 Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ 10 Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.
We as Christians are called to bring others to Christ. How do we do that? How do we share Christ with the world? What can we as individuals do to win others to Christ? What can we do as a church to win others to Christ? This is something we should be doing all the time. We want to see our local church grow but more importantly we want to see the Kingdom of God grow. We need to be reaching out to others and inviting them in.
I have chosen the above scripture to help us in looking at our attitude in bringing change to ourselves and in our church. If we look back on the recent history of the church in terms of bringing people to Christ, what have we done? If we aren’t growing, then we are dying. My prayer is that you look to me as a pastor who wants to move outside the walls of the church in order to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Our attendance has stabilized. We need momentum. But in order to continue to make disciples of Jesus Christ we must be reaching to those that have turned away and those that don’t know Jesus Christ.
We need to start reaching out and stretching ourselves. But it is hard to reach out to others if we don’t know what we are doing or how to do it. We have begun a study that will allow us to reach out and stretch ourselves. It will help us take a good and honest look at ourselves and at our church. This study is for us as much as it is for those we are trying to reach. We are studying Five Practices of a Fruitful Congregation written by Bishop Schnase. I will am facilitating in leading this study. I would like for you to become a part and take an active lead in this study. We meet on Tuesdays at 6:00pm through the first week of October.
You will need to purchase the book to go along with this study. Together we will pray, study, discuss and finally make some commitments in what we are going to do and how we are going to reach out to others and bring them to Christ. I would like to see great participation in the study. We will also have a sermon each Sunday based on the study.
You see, you have been invited to the banquet. The table is set before you. The wedding is ready and you are invited. It is your choice whether you come and enjoy the festivities. Those that want to see the church and the Kingdom of God grow, please come. Your voice is important. The table is set. The food is being prepared. Please come.
Grace and Peace to All,