On a visit to Colorado Springs, I spent time with a group that helped young military families adapt to their new environment. One speaker shared that she found young wives were stressed at the thought of the wife of a more senior military person visiting their home, even if it was just to share news or drop off something. These younger wives were often busy with children and running the household and did not see having their homes perfectly clean as a priority. The speaker mentioned she taught them a trick to make the home seem more presentable. She advised them to stand at their front door facing inside the house. They were to then make a V with their arms outstretched in front of their bodies. They were to note that a visitor standing at their front door would only be able to see whatever was inside that V line of sight. Her advice was to just tidy up in that line of sight. Any visitor looking into the home would see a clean area not knowing what was behind the closed doors, or under beds and so on.
God invites us to share the Good News, but decades of inward focus and gimmickry has caused the church to hide their true selves. Unfortunately, too many church goers have adapted their own V line of site, not presenting themselves as they truly are. To an outsider, churches give a picture of perfection with those behind the beautiful front doors frowning upon those who do not belong to the church. Many in our communities have no church experience.
They don’t go to their parents’ church because there is a good chance their parents didn’t go to church. So people who are not used to going to church are fearful of entering our front doors because they are afraid they cannot live up to the image. Life is full of disappointments and failures, and so people don’t want to see the church as another one of those letdowns. People want to know that church folks are real, genuine and that what they claim matches their lives.
Paul’s letter to the Corinthians suggests how we can become more effective messengers of the Good News. It is not by COMPROMISING our faith or acting in an unprincipled manner. Jesus told us, “You are in the world, but you are not of the world” (John 17:16). Our mindset should focus on finding common ground and interests to at least begin a conversation. We must enter the world with 360-degree exposure, not just showing the “US” we want people to see.
God has invited believers to join Him on His mission to share the Gospel. We must be aware and mindful that God alone draws people to Him, not our gimmicks or flowery speech. When we take up this call we must do so remembering we are second messengers, as God has already gone before us. So go, be true and be prepared to share your story with others.