It’s been a non stop, from one thing to another, kind of day.
As I rushed from our cafe to get into the taxi to get my train, tripping over my shoelaces while hoping I wouldn’t miss my train, I wasn’t in a particular ‘I must share Jesus with the taxi driver’ frame of mind.
Yet he soon asked me what I did and my job/ life just can’t get away from talking about the main man.
It turned out the taxi driver had a strong opinion or two about how Churches needed to function to help ‘outsiders’ feel included and welcome.
Top of his list was ‘churches need to be fun.’ He explained that they needs to be a places where you wake up on a Sunday morning and can’t wait to get there! His recent experience had been the opposite. ‘They were so snooty’ he said. As a single dad he has dragged his children along to his local church to find connection and community. Instead he found people looking down their noses at him.
Second on his list was that he didn’t think it was a good idea to be preached at. He was already feeling crap about his circumstances and struggling to bring up 3 nippers on his own- the last thing he needed was reminding how rubbish he was.
I listened. He was a man in pain who had thought he would find healing balm in a place, but only got an earful instead.
Third on his list he shared how songs were sung that no one knew. And they were boring. He didn’t get the words and the tunes were dreary.
His experience of looking for a church hadn’t gone well, and while I know for many many people they encounter life and joy when they explore church, sadly for many the experience is opposite.
I found myself saying about his experience of giving ‘Christianity a go’- “this is why I do what I do!” It’s true. The Light Project college is all about training up people who will introduce others to Jesus, not a bad experience of a grumpy service where the words are a mystery and no one welcomes the stranger but an introduction to the one who is LIFE!
As I left, now with my shoelaces tied and just in time to get my train I reached into my pocket where I had mistakingly left a stone in it with the words ‘keep strong’ written on it. I returned to the taxi and explained that I felt he needed to have the stone.
He grasped it and for a moment the stone was hidden in a powerful white knuckled grip of the man who is doing his all to look after his children and work a full time job.
I shared some words of encouragement and told him what an awesome job he was doing being a dad.
My prayer is that he seeks again for help, and finds it.