When Someone Says 'I Don't Go To Church'

Every week at the end of our Sunday evening service, our church family prays for boldness and opportunity in the coming week. We want to be ready, willing and able whenever God puts a witnessing moment in our paths. It's a deep desire to be aware of the needs around us on a daily basis.

Recently I stopped at the grocery store early on a Sunday morning, which I rarely do. But on this day I needed some fresh produce that I didn't want to get the day before. I would hate to arrive at our noon fellowship with stale food. (shudder)

As I took my fruit tray and creme cake to the checkout, several young clerks were gathered around the checker's station. They were all young women, and they were talking and laughing like they didn't have a care in the world. This wouldn't have been memorable if one of them hadn't loudly announced, "I wouldn't know...I don't go to church."

This one statement threw me for a loop. What do you say when you'd rather be at church than most anywhere? What do you say without drawing attention or seeming holier-than-thou? What do you say that won't drive them farther away from Christians than they apparently already are?

Looking back, I have rehearsed a dozen different conversations in my head. What I did was check out and walk away, but there must have been something I could have said that would have shown this woman Jesus for the first time that day. I have no idea who she was, and I'm not even sure if I would recognize her again. My opportunity for boldness has passed, and that has really affected my heart.

When you pray for opportunities to show Jesus Christ to even just one person this week, also pray for the boldness to follow through. Silence and fear are tools of the devil, especially designed to keep us from spreading the gospel. Don't let him win, even for one moment. Ask the Lord for everything you need to be an effectual witness in the days to come. That's how we'll help change the lives and hearts of those around us.

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