Creating a Prodigal-Friendly Church by Jeff Lucas

By Jeff Lucas

Such a lot people have prodigals in our lives, no matter if a toddler, brother, sister, husband, spouse, or good friend. The discomfort for those pricey ones is like no different. they might damage us and disappoint us, yet by some means we can't cease loving them. And but we can't stay their lives for them. The Prodigal-Friendly Church seems at why humans go away the church, how we will keep them, how we will be able to succeed in those that have already long past, and the way we will aid those that go back think like they belong. Jeff Lucas deals no effortless recipes for fulfillment, yet lots of truthtelling, desire, and encouragement. This booklet discusses the rules of: * succeed in: How will we achieve these who have already left the church? * go back: How can we aid humans go back to the church? * preserve: How can we keep the folks we now have labored so not easy to arrive? finally we're referred to as to carry our prodigals to the go of Christ, for there we discover the mingling of our personal utter helplessness and God's overall strength to interfere and store. while the Father's home is full of the Father's love, there's desire that the prodigals will come domestic.

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Jesus invited himself for lunch. Zacchaeus was ecstatic, and practically fell out of the tree with delight. Perhaps we too would love to rush over to the taxman’s place, park ourselves in that dining room, and wonder about the warm chatter, the broad smiles, the laughter. We want to zoom in on the marvelous sight of the lifelong extortionist doing a U-turn and becoming a philanthropist. But let’s resist the temptation to hurry to that beautiful episode and ponder a more sobering sight instead. CALLED TO RISKY LOVE Look at that crowd.

You’ve ruined this church,” she snarled. She wasn’t at all pleased about the newcomers — on the contrary. She was wrestling with some real issues coupled, undeniably, with some bad attitudes. One of the “happy family” church children had been scratched on the face by one of the children of the newcomers — and that’s a genuine problem. And then the complaining lady was genuinely worried about the good name, the “testimony,” of First Assembly. Would outsiders think that, because people of very public loose morals were showing up, the church had lost its firm grip on biblical values?

Preachers sometimes paint verbal portraits of Zacchaeus that make him out to be like a mild-mannered but somewhat intimidating-looking guy from the IRS who lives down the street. People give him a wide berth, more because of fear than reason. For Zacchaeus, it was worse than that. Much worse. He was a social pariah, someone to shun. Quick, cross the street, here he comes. With the exception of his slimy cohorts in the tax trade, most people loathed him. Every day he would have seen the silent, seething hatred in their eyes as they handed over their hard-earned cash without a word.

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