Summary: Healthy churches actively invite people to relationship with Jesus. Here are some tips on accomplishing that goal.
SERIES: HEALTHY CHURCH!
“:THE INVITATION FACTOR”
We’re in the middle of our series called “Healthy Church!” I shared at the beginning of this series that I was working on getting physically healthier. It’s working. I’m down 26 pounds and my blood sugar is stabilizing. But following the diet and exercise program I’m on is not easy. It’s hard work.
I read about a fellow whose wife gave him a rather unique Christmas present. It was as a week’s worth of private lessons at a fitness center. He thought that even though he considered himself still in great shape from his years on his high school’s chess team, he thought he’d try it.
He called up the fitness center and set up a week’s worth of appointments with someone named Tonya, who described herself as a 26-year-old fitness trainer and athletic clothes model. His wife was very pleased that he was so enthusiastic to get started. Tonya suggested that he keep a workout diary chronicling his progress. Here’s how the diary reads:
Day 1: Started the morning at 6:00 a.m. Tough to get up, but worth it when I arrived at the health club and Tanya was waiting for me. She's something of a goddess, with blond hair and a dazzling white smile. She showed me the machines and took my pulse after five minutes on the treadmill. She seemed a little alarmed that it was so high, but I think just standing next to her added about ten points. Tanya was very encouraging as I did my sit ups, though my gut was already aching a little from holding it in the whole time I was talking to her. This is going to be great.
Day 2: Took a whole pot of coffee to get me out the door, but I made it. Tanya had me lie on my back and push this heavy iron bar up into the air. Then she put weights on it, for heaven's sake! Legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made it the full mile. Her smile made it all worth it. Muscles feel great
Day 3 : The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the tooth brush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. Driving was okay as long as I didn't try to steer. I parked on top of a Volkswagen. Tanya was a little impatient with me and said my screaming was bothering the other club members. The treadmill hurt my chest so I did the stair monster ,,,uh, master Why would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by the invention of elevators? Tanya told me regular exercise would make me live longer. I can't imagine anything worse.
Day 4: Tanya was waiting for me with her vampire teeth in a full snarl. I can't help it if I was half an hour late, it took me that long just to tie my shoes. She wanted me to lift dumbbells. Not a chance, Tanya. The word “dumb” must be in there for a reason. I hid in the men's room until she sent Big Lars looking for me. Day 5: I hated Tanya more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. If there was any part of my body not in extreme pain I would hit her with it. She thought it would be a good idea to work on my triceps. Well, I have news for you Tanya, I don't have triceps. And if you don't want dents in the floor don't hand me any barbells.
Day 6 : Got Tanya's message in my voice mail, wondering where I am. I lacked the strength to use the TV remote so I watched eleven straight hours of the weather channel.
Day 7 : Well, that's the week. Thank goodness that's over. Maybe next time my wife will give me something a little more fun, like free teeth drilling or a root canal at the dentist's.
Anything worth doing requires hard work. As Christians in the 21st century, we don’t like doing anything that seems difficult to us. And the one thing that most Christians seem to think is difficult is sharing their faith with another person. I read a statistic this week that said 95% of people who claim to be a Christian in this United States has never led anyone to Christ.
Jesus’ instructions to his followers clearly outline His intentions for His people – that we pass our faith in Christ along to others. Mt. 28:19-20 – “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Then in Acts 1:8 Jesus says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”