My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. (James 5:19-20 ESV)
Next to my bed are three books stacked and begging to be read, (Unchristian, Churchless, and Revolution). The next two weeks are full – no time to crack a spine (other than the Word and some devotions) so they wait. They are written by experts who have done surveys and interviewed thousands to ask the big, scary question, ‘Why do people leave the church?’
I am working on a book for women that I hope will help us understand each other better and expose some of the hurts and misconceptions we all share. Lord willing – I hope it will help bring back a few ‘ones’ to join the ‘ninety-nines’ because I was a one and it was hard.
In my own experience and having read responses from over a hundred women from around the world, there are a lot of damaged and fed up ladies who refuse to step foot into a church again. What are we to do? Some of them are still deep in the Word and have a few Christian friends to fellowship with, but are still clearly bearing the scars of women and church warfare. Others have thrown Christ out with the church, are bitter and closed off to anything to do with God.
Will you join me in praying for those who are lost? Those who have wandered off and may be lost for eternity and others who are holding tight to Christ yet are walking without healthy fellowship? Let’s open our eyes and ears to reach out and do our best to bind up these brokenhearted gals. Oh that Jesus would be seen through our kindness!
If you are one of the ‘ones’... I am sorry if you were hurt by someone in the church and have walked away from fellowship. On behalf of Christian women (me included) who may have done and said things – some unknowingly and yes, others in malice – please forgive us. Don’t allow our sin to cause you even one more day of separation from God.
Father, we thank You that You gave us the story of the prodigal son. Oh how it grieves You when one of Yours has wandered off. Forgive us for doing or saying things that have inflicted others and driven them from fellowship. Holy Spirit, apply Your healing balm to our hurts that we would be whole as we reach out to minister to Your lost sheep. In Jesus’ sweet name, Amen!
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