Last week I bought a chair off Craigslist. The price was right, the owners were cordial, so I drove across town to pick it up.
As the former owner and I were carrying it out to my car, I asked if he had known a couple who used to live in his complex.
“Nope, I don’t know them.” “Well, they moved from here probably four years ago.” “Yeah, we’ve only been here since last year.” We get the chair in the car and he asks, “How did you know those folks you mentioned?” “We were in church together,” I told him.
Which led to me confessing that I’m a pastor and him confessing that he and his wife were very active in a church in their former city but since moving to Richmond they hadn’t connected with a congregation.
So—surprise, surprise—I told him about Northminster and a sister congregation in his neighborhood.
When I got home, I had an email from him asking, “What was the name of your church again?”
All of this to say, there are a lot of people who have made a New Year’s resolution to find a church. And they are just waiting for you or me to point them toward one.
I found myself thinking about some Northminster members who came to us early in the year—a woman who asked her personal trainer about getting the spiritual dimension of her life in shape; another woman who told a friend-of-a-friend who was helping her move that she had made a resolution to find a church and wondered if he knew of one.
It happens a lot in January. So be ready to invite some seemingly random person to come to church with you. It won’t be random. And they may thank you for a long, long time.