“If you build it, they will come.” That was the classic line from the classic baseball movie Field of Dreams. A mysterious voice from the cornfields of Iowa told Kevin Costner’s character that if he built a baseball field, they would come. Spoiler alert—Kevin did, and they (old baseball legends and new fans) did too.
For many years in America, the same was true for churches. If you built it, a new church, new people came. They were drawn to the newest worship service on the block. But I question if the same is true in America today. As more and more people are post-Christian, that is, past the supposed need for a church family, I’m not sure if a new building and a fancy logo will get them to come. If you build it, they might not come. They might not even care.
But that might change if the “it” in that famous line was not a building but a relationship. If you invested in people, allowed them into your personal life, and let them see how Jesus’ love gives you hope and peace despite your sins and challenges, they might come. If they saw, up close, how you didn’t fear death because of Jesus’ empty grave, they might be curious enough to stop by.
Perhaps the age of assumed religion is fading away. But our mission stays the same. So take Jesus’ call to heart. “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).