When I was a kid, they built this suburban church near I-275 that rivaled the Colosseum in Rome. You could fit four of my church inside it. Every time we drove past, my folks would comment on how big it was. In my mind, it was as close as you could get in the 1970s to a genuine megachurch. Imagine a sea of cars on Sunday nights. Heck, we’d even watch them park cars on the church lawn. (Hey, there were no Sunday night services at the Lutheran church, so yeah, we were out and about.)
Funny thing is, I’m 45 years old now and have lived in the Greater Cincinnati area for most of my life, yet I’ve never met a single person who attends that church. The Christian world is impossibly small, and I swear that while the world has its six degrees of separation, for Christians it’s more like three.
Still, I’ve never met anyone from that church. Doesn’t that raise questions about that church’s ability to evangelize? If they aren’t getting out and meeting people, including a fellow brother like me, how will they ever lead anyone to Christ? What is it about them that they have no presence?
Here’s the deeper question: What’s wrong with me that I’ve never encountered one of them? What’s that say about my presence in the community, my willingness to share Christ with someone new, even if that someone new turns out to be another brother in Christ?
You see, it’s all a matter of perspective, isn’t it?
I drove past that church the other night, and it seemed small. And the more I stared at it, the longer I hunted for signs of life, the more it looked abandoned.