By Bishop Charles A Ffrench
This is a very interesting topic; I remember some years ago I visited a church as a non practicing Christian. I went in and found a place to sit, listened as the worship team sang, members of the church shouting and speaking in tongues; the preacher delivered his sermon which I understood in some parts. He then made a call for those who wanted to know about Jesus or wanted to be saved.
I stood up with the church while they were singing, the person who sat in front of me started to talk to me about giving my life to Christ, he kept on and on until I felt under pressure, I then felt uncomfortable and felt like walking out, so I did not go to the altar. This experience could have put me off church for life.
However church should be a place where everyone feels welcome, a place where the atmosphere is warm and inviting, a place of comfort, a sense of belonging where God is present in the midst, the church must be an oasis of peace, a lifeboat in the storm of life, a gathering place for joyful interaction regardless of who is apart of the congregation, so on leaving the church you must leave better informed, encouraged, uplifted and want more.
The church must give the opportunity to experience fellowship and affiliation with other people, men and women who may be very different from us in a number of ways so they can feel accepted. The church should be a place that provides great social activity so unbelievers can have some interaction with the believers.
If the church is people friendly and show the true love of God with their hands outstretched with a smile, the unbeliever will no longer be an unbeliever.
The unbelievers fear the unknown and have their own perceptions about church and Christians. If the Christian in and out of the church building shows the love and care of God, then the answer to the question: is the church a place to be feared by unbelievers? is no, lets get it right!
(picture by cliparts.co)