If people won’t or can’t come to church, then we need to be the church and go to them. That’s what the women of my church at Roseville Christian Church did when they moved their monthly meeting to a retirement center in a town eighteen miles south of Roseville so three former church members living at the center could enjoy the fellowship of their friends and neighbors.
Our hostess, Mary Lou, reserved a private dining room and provided all the food and drinks for the meal. The rest of us met at the church to carpool. We probably did more talking by traveling in the cars together than if we had stayed at the church for a “normal” meeting.
After the meal, Mary Lou directed our conversation by asking us “Where were you born?” (only four of us were born outside of Illinois), “What has been your occupation?” and “When and where were you baptized?” As we shared our stories of how God had met us in our need for salvation, one young woman expressed her desire to make Christ Lord of her life. When she said that, our entire group, including our three guests, clapped with delight. One of the older women shared the inner struggle she had recently faced in moving her husband to full term nursing care and that “Now I’m at peace with my decision.” I could tell she needed to share her story with people who knew her family and had walked the journey with her.
Our choice to take our fellowship to the independent care center provided a new envornment for God to work among His people. We brought the outside world to them and they flowed into our fellowship as if they had never left.