READ : Acts 2:42-47
They devoted themselves. . . . And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (vv. 42, 47 NIV)
What a beautiful picture of Christ's church—devoted and teachable believers enjoying each other's fellowship, eating together and undoubtedly concluding their meal with the Lord's Supper, caring deeply about each other, giving generously to the needs of all. These first Christians are happy and enthusiastic worshipers. Powerful things are happening among them. And people take notice. Many are being saved!
That is what we want for our wandering family members and friends—to take notice of the positive blessings that come with following Jesus. Writer Eugene Roehlkepartain puts it this way, “Churches need to help dropouts see that the Christian faith can be relevant and life-changing!” (Church Dropouts).
The church of which we are a part can be a positive influence in the lives of wandering ones simply by being who we are called to be. Many young people have left the church because they do not see this among us. Too often they see bickering, complaining, criticism, or a lack of joyful worship and service.
The church can help by praying urgently for those who have left, loving passionately and caring deeply about them, worshiping enthusiastically without griping about the worship style, and rejoicing always. The salvation of our family members and friends may very well depend on it.
Jesus, make us a church of joy and let it start with me!