Saturday, April 19, 2014

I Want To Invite You To Church

...  Not necessarily my church, although if you are within reasonable driving distance of Auburn, Alabama you are more than welcome to come to mine, we have plenty of seats and, if you can suffer sitting near the world's most active 6 year old, you can join us on our pew.

But I want to invite you to church in general. Just pick one and go, if you want me to recommend one to you just email at or hit me up on twitter (@zboman) and give me your location and maybe I can help figure it out with you, I'd love to.

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday, and Christians will be celebrating Jesus' resurrection. It is a great opportunity to attend if you haven't been in a while or if you have an aversion to church (like me), or if you have an active belief that God doesn't even exist, or if your life is mess, or perfect, or you think Christians are terrible people. Just go. If you think you aren't good enough to go, guess what, the people there are as messed up as you are, maybe more. Don't dress up. Wear Jeans and a t-shirt, sit in the back...just go. Go to church as a favor to me.

What to Expect

  • Most of the time we get things kicked off by 10:30 to 11am. You should try and get one of the primo visitor parking spots near the entrance, just be careful when you are leaving because there is no worse driving on the planet than in a church parking lot. 
  • While you're walking in you might here a lot of churchy talk. You might even hear us cheese it up and great each other with "He Is Risen" to which you are supposed reply with "He Is Risen INDEED!" with your best goofy smile, it's just this thing we do on Easter Sunday. And if you forget to respond properly some people will generally assume you are far less spiritual than they are... Unfortunately, sometimes they assume things when other people don't know the language - Christianese. But by and large, people will be friendly, and smile and tell you how glad they are to see you and sincerely mean it. And when you go in it's ok to try and get a real good seat at the very back next to the exit. 
  • You'll probably stand and sing as a congregation at some point. Stand and don't sing a note if you don't feel like it, just watch and listen if you like. The words will likely be up on a screen at the back. 
  • Between songs you might be asked to greet the people sitting around you. Don't worry, no one is going to put a microphone in your face and ask for a personal testimony or asking you to recite your favorite Bible verse. Just smile, shake hands and exchange pleasantries... Also, no one is going to ask you to handle a snake. If they do that is why you sat close to the exit.
  • During the special music they may pass the offering plate around. Please don't put anything in it, you don't have to pay for church, you are a visitor and our guest.  (Also, I'll go ahead and apologize for the quality of the special music)
  • After that a pastor will get up and give a message. He may say a lot of things you don't agree with, but I'm going to ask you to do a few things... Here goes...

What you can do

  • Turn off your ability to be offended for an hour or so.
  • Just sit and at the very least pretend that there is a God (The God of the Universe) who cares about you, and think about what that would mean if it were true and Jesus was who He said He was (God's Son).
Some closing thoughts and hard Truths

God exists independently of your belief in Him... I've seen miracles first hand, and I've felt Him put His hand on my shoulder while they unfolded before me...He's real... And He cares about where your next meal comes from, or your next month's rent. He cares about your heart breaks, your fears, your addictions, your failing health and all the things that lay heavy on your soul when you wake up in the middle of the night (like me). He longs to bear those burdens for you. And He will if you let Him.

You see, God's sent His Son, Jesus, to live a sinless and perfect life so He could be a sacrifice for our sins, and after He was crucified, He rose again, defeating death and the grave so that we could have a home in Heaven one day... Sounds absolutely crazy doesn't it...  But it's true, every bit of it. And I might lose you here, but stay with me... Placing your faith in Jesus Christ to save you from your sin is the only way to Heaven, I'm sorry if you've been lied to about that...

But just go, go to church tomorrow, sit there and even if you think what I just said is absolute insanity, just rest and let down your guard for an hour, and ponder the possibility that every event in your life, everything around you wasn't an accident, but instead, was designed by a God who knows it all...

Please go. He really IS Risen... Risen Indeed.

Some practical tips, if you want to follow along in a bible with the pastor while you're there you can put an app on your phone or use the pew bible. Even us Jesusy types use it so you won't look out of place. I recommend the ESV Bible App, there are both IOS and android versions.

And if you are looking for something to read in it, maybe start with the book of John or Matthew. God Bless.