This is Part One of a two-part post. Click here for Part Two: Does My Behavior Inside the Church Support My Claim?

I keep hearing questions about church attendance.

Why is it going down?

Why doesn’t church attendance seem to be a priority anymore?

Why aren’t we attracting new members?

While I think there are many factors, I wonder if part of the reason is how Christians are perceived by others.

In general, Christians are seen as judgmental, anti-almost-everything, and critical of anyone who doesn’t attend their church (and even some who do attend their church). This perception is reinforced through stories of religious extremes broadcast by the mainstream media.

But what about right here, today—does my personal behavior tell others I’m a Christian?

I don’t mean making sure a neighbor knows I go to church every weekend, or collecting canned goods for every food drive. (Not that those are bad.)

I’m talking about the way we handle life—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

When someone flat-out disagrees with me, do I respond in kindness or hostility?

If I say I trust God, do I practice that?

Do I act like following Jesus is easy, or am I honest with others that it can be a struggle?

When someone I know is going through a rough time, do I offer pat answers or express honest compassion?

When something in my life goes well, do I give the glory to God, or take the credit myself?

My point is…

Does the way I act in my day-to-day back up my claim of being a Christian?

I can talk all I want about going to church and stress that my neighbors should go too, but if the way I live shows Christianity isn’t doing me much good, why would they want to join me?

Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone. Colossians 4:5-6 NLT

When I’m able to see how God has worked in someone else’s life, it makes me want that relationship with Him too.

And my prayer is that others will see Jesus reflected in me, and want to get to know Him the way I have.

And so on, and so on, like a Christian ripple effect.

Maybe getting people through the church doors for the sake of filling the pews isn’t the goal. Maybe the goal is reflecting Christ in our lives so others will want to join us there.

 

In Christ,
Laura
Laura Rath ~ Journey in Faith
 

Does My Behavior Outside the Church Support My Claim? is Part One of a two-part post. Click here for Part Two: Does My Behavior Inside the Church Support My Claim?

 

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