Don’t let barriers stop you from attending church
“no opportunity for stumbling” II Corinthians 6:3
As a community, we have just celebrated “Easter” or “Resurrection Day” in its many and varied traditions, styles and formats.
Our Risen King is alive. We rejoice, celebrate and want to share the gospel with everyone.
Yet, this Sunday after this most glorious day, how will we reach out to those who have never heard, heard but are skeptical, want to respond but because of barriers do not even cross the thresholds of our fellowships.
The Resurrection made it possible to have direct access to God through Jesus Christ. The veil is torn in two no barrier! The ceremonial law is complete no barrier. Nothing stands between God and us but Jesus Christ (The Door). John 10:9
So one must ask the question: Why do we place so many barriers at our doors?
A better question would be “Who do we think we are?” We say we have the bread of life to those who are hungry yet we prevent those same people from coming to the table to experience that Bread (Jesus himself). John 6:35
I recently “retweeted” something from my Twitter account (What? You don’t have one?) It sums up what I’m trying to say quite well. Here it is: “Too many Christians are stuffing themselves with Gospel blessings while millions have never had a taste.” Vance Havner
You might say to me, “Preacher, we don’t prevent anyone from coming to our church.” I would answer that with this reply. You don’t say those words but let us look at our actions. What we do and how we act far outweigh what comes out of our mouths.
Here is a list of 10 there are many, many more things (barriers) that came to mind over breakfast the other day. Some are subtle, others are in your face. Here they are in no particular order:
1. Ourselves. Me. Yes, I am a barrier at times.
2. Wrong theology. By adding to or taking away from what Scripture says
3. Rituals. Customs or traditions, days observed, foods I eat or don’t,
4. Preferences. Are just that. People go to heaven because they do what the Bible says, not what I want.
5. Education/vocation. Supposedly we do not have a caste system but I wonder at times.
6. Settling for the good, instead of seeking God’s best.
7. Style/format. Worship wars, suits and ties, offering in front or back, music or no music.
8. Viewing success through man’s eyes instead of God’s eyes
9. Comparing and competing against other churches
We wonder why our churches aren’t growing as God wants them to grow. Let us step aside and take our barriers with us. It is his church, not ours!
Pastor Dan Andrus is pastor of North Hill Baptist Church, Minot.