I would very much like you to read this post on my friend, and minister, Louis’ Blog:
. . . we are leaving ourselves insufficient time for a life outside the church and all of its activities. Because of the many ministries we carry out in the course of each week, many of our church folk have no social life amongst those who have yet to hear the Christian message and for whom Jesus Christ is a near-total mystery. And the church folk who have the least time to spend with the unchurched are our most committed church members, who have no little or no time for friendships with non-church people precisely because we have asked them to spend all of their available time running our weekly church programme. We have created a bit of a church ghetto in some senses, in which our most committed believers are trapped, because of their church responsibilities, and are consequently unable to be an influence on people outside the church, for Jesus sake . . .
(He’s actually just moved his blog and if you’d like to read older posts you can do so here: Coffee With Louis)
This excites me a lot.
It’s something my friends and I have been saying about the Church for some time.
It is very representative of my experience within the church – to the point that I don’t really have any non-Christian friends left in Aberdeen. I neglected them, we grew apart and now we haven’t spoken in months. I couldn’t balance family, church, school, church friends and non-church friends and something had to give. It wasn’t necessarily a conscious decision but it wasn’t something I tried to stop.
I was very aware of this when I got to Edinburgh and made not getting myself into a Christian bubble a top priority. It’s a little more tricky when you study Divinity and the majority of your course mates are Christians but by prioritising time with non-Christian friends over other activities and not taking on too much at church or CU too quickly I think it’s worked out okay.
“Go out into all the nations” not “Ask them to come in“