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I visited a large church in our community last summer. During the service a new believer shared their faith story and said they didn’t attend church, but knew they wanted to attend this particular church if they would start attending. It was a church that was having a high impact on the community around them. It got me thinking again about something I’ve been brewing on lately. When Jesus said “I will build my church” its clear that building seems to be happening a great deal more at some churches more than others. Or to put it another way, God draws people to certain churches, and people, and keeps others away as well. Many of the churches I connect with get few if any visitors. A few years ago, a woman showed up at our service, and when asked by a greeter how she’d found us, she told them she had a dream where she met a lion in a forest, and she asked the lion what it was doing there. The lion in return said, “What are you doing here? I’m at The Gathering Church and that is where you should be!” “So”, she said, “It took me a few weeks to gather up the courage, but here I am…” It seemed she had clearly been brought to us. (I don’t think she had any idea of the significance of the lion in scripture). Several seeking folks who attend The Gathering now have been brought to us because they sensed clearly they were to attend our church-or a program connected with our church. There are lots of factors as to why that drawing happens more in some places than others, but it seems to me one fact is simply having some kind of a plan for walking with someone not connected with the story of Jesus. The other factor is the culture of the church itself, but that’s for another blog. JLT

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