My younger brother and I have a pretty good relationship now. However, that wasn’t always the case. When we were kids we did our share of fighting… maybe even more than our share. But, that’s not what I’m talking about.
You see, after high school, my younger brother, Stephen, moved to Las Vegas. This led to our relationship being distant for a few years. Not that we had a bad relationship. There was no bad blood between us. We just lived very far apart and social media hadn’t been invented yet. At that point staying connected required a lot more effort. Still, he was my brother.
No matter how far apart we were, he was still my brother. Even as we had differences along the way, he was still my brother. Even as we went weeks, or even months without seeing each other, still he was my brother. No distance and no circumstance was ever going to change that.
Why is church not like that?
The Bible often refers to Christians as family. Paul, who wrote most of the second part of the Bible, uses this imagery over and over again. So, every other Christian, even those in other churches, or who have left the church, are my brothers and sisters in Christ. If shouldn’t I treat them much the same way I treat my biological brothers?
But, we don’t. Sadly, we tend to treat Christians who go to church pretty good (at least in most cases), but when it comes to those that have left the church, we often turn our back on them, or worse. We welcome new believers into the church, but if they leave the church, we act as if they were never family.
Now, I know this is not always the case, but it does happen quite often.
They’re still our brothers and sisters
Christians who no longer attend church are still part of our family. They are still our brothers and sisters in Christ. No matter how far apart we are, they are still our brothers and sisters. Even when we have differences they are still our brothers and sisters. Even when we go weeks, or even months without seeing each other, they are still our brothers and sisters. No distance and no circumstance can ever change that.
Treat them as such
If these Christians who are not in church are still our brothers and sisters, then shouldn’t we be treating them as such? Shouldn’t we still be loving them? Shouldn’t we still be praying for them? Shouldn’t we be making efforts to connect with them and to let them know that they are still loved, that we still consider them part of the family. This past Sunday at Journey Church I shared a message on this.
Have you forgotten your brothers or sisters?
Do you know fellow Christians who are not part of a local church? What are you doing to serve them? Are you praying for them regularly? When was the last time you reached out to them?
Are you the forgotten brother or sister?
Maybe you’re reading this and feeling like the family that is the Church has abandoned you. If so, know that I am praying for you and you are loved.
Let me also take this moment to invite you back into the church. I’d love to see you at Journey Church, but if not here, please get back into fellowship with some local church.