I was recently talking to a few college students about our church and telling them that they should come check us out to see if they like it. One of them told me about an event on campus in which there were dozens of representatives from a local church handing out free stuff telling him to “come check us out.” I started to think about my cliche invitation to visit Trinity and the message that I was unknowingly portraying.
We often “check out” new restaurants, new music to listen to, or maybe a page on social media. “Come check us out” is nothing more than marketing lingo that sells a product to the consumer. If that’s the case, is this a way that we want to bring people into our community? Are we targeting consumers who will come and see if we fit their preference of worship or have the thermostat set on their desired temperature? Do we as Christians fit right in with a consumer culture?
Obviously the issue I’m getting at is more than just word choice. If we are going to love, reach, and grow fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ for the glory of God then we should never call people to join us at as low of a cost to them as possible. Jesus’ call to take up your cross and follow Him means that we are called to lay down every bit of ourselves and recognize that Jesus is worthy of our sacrifice. The cost of following Jesus is everything.
We don’t need more people just checking us out. We don’t want to be a place where people just take, take, take without ever giving to this community of believers. We need the members of Trinity to be actively telling the good news of the gospel to their lost family, neighbors, and coworkers and then bringing them into the community of Trinity Baptist Church where they invest their lives as disciples of Jesus.
So don’t “come check us out” to see what you can get. Ask the Lord if this is the place where He would have you invest as a member of a body of believers in order to partner in the ministry of the Kingdom of God.
- Jared Collins