Reaching out to someone who has drifted from church involvement requires a small, loving effort. But it can make an eternal difference.
You can probably think of someone who has stepped away from involvement in a local church. There are many reasons people decide to pull away.
They find a sport or some other form of entertainment that takes the place of church,
they keep putting off finding a new church home,
they are disillusioned with churches because of a past conflict,
or they feel guilty about choices they have made.
Maybe someone you know is angry with God about circumstances he or she has faced and as a result has wandered away from the faith.
Whatever the reason, we know that this quitting cannot be an option. God sometimes calls people to switch churches, but Hebrews 10:25 explicitly commands believers to be a vital part of a local church.
And, James 5:19-20 tells us:
My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins (James 5:19-20).”
These are the last verses in James and their meaning is amazing. The fact is says James, that God uses people to turn other people back to Himself. And, if God uses you in that way, then you are being used to save such a person from judgment of God and a lifetime of hurt. Are you willing to be used to turn someone back to Christ?
A small effort on your part can make an eternal difference for someone else.
- We’ve missed you. Would you come to church and then come over for dinner afterwards?
- We’re starting a new preaching series. It is a good time to plug back in.
- I’ve prayed for you on my knees.
- Would you join our Bible study?
- You do realize, don’t you, that there are severe consequences from unplugging from church?
A version of this post originally appeared in 2008.