We will, quite simply, change your mind

It thought of that line in relation to how I want us to live as believers. It is too easy to get caught up in the blogosphere, the media, entertainment, etc., and form our opinions.

There are some incredibly strong opinions about the church, and those with any measure of angst blog about it. The ones with real angst get the media play. They end up on HuffPost or some other source talking about their doubt.

I want to offer something different. For all the angst of “millennials” leaving the church, etc., I want to offer this thought: Hang out with us. We will, quite simply, change your mind.

I don’t mean I will make you a Christian. But hang out with us. With our church. We actually want to talk. We actually want to love Jesus and you. Don’t let the media tell you about me. Let ME tell you about me. Let YOU find out about me. I think something different could happen if we hung out and talked about life.

A few years back in a seminary class we were studying different denominations and streams of Christianity in America. It was a Lutheran seminary, so when we got to the sections on fundamentalists, evangelicals, and Pentecostals, you could hear the irritation and disdain in the room. Right after those sections I had an opportunity to speak in the class about a trip I had taken sponsored by the seminary. When I got up and I introduced myself this way: “I am the fundamentalist, evangelical, Pentecostal you all should be scared of.”

It brought a nice laugh and we went on with my topic.

We hear labels and we simply react. But if we met each other and just hung out… I am convinced it would be quite different. I can say that about probably everyone in my church. Just hang out. Hear us. We’ll hear you.

I have a very dear friend that told me straight up a few years ago, “My experience with ‘the church’ hasn’t been very good over the years. You’re changing my mind.”

I’m not asking you to “convert.” I’m asking for the courtesy of a conversation where you just don’t hate me or despise me or dismiss me out of hand because I happen to wear some label you’ve had a bad experience with in the past.

Maybe you don’t want your mind changed. Maybe you want to keep your categories. I can’t do anything about that.

But I DO invite you to come and hang out. Hear us. We will hear you. And we will, quite simply, change your mind.