Sunday, October 1 2023 - 7:06 PM

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Bar Stools and Pews

Does it bother you that on any given weekend there are probably more people sitting on bar stools than in church pews? This ought to send a message to pastors and parishioners alike that something meaningful is happening in local saloons and taverns! What is it?

Normally, people only frequent places where they feel accepted and welcome. While bar goers often confuse their needs with the best solutions, they are tuned into something that many churches need to discover:

Fellowship – Camaraderie and a sense of belonging.

A non-critical environment – Feeling safe about letting others know who you really are.

A listening ear – Being with people who take a personal interest in you.

Recognition of inadequacies – A willingness to change and improve.

Relief from pain – A place where pain can be minimized and managed.

When Jesus was on earth he provided all of the above qualities and more. Is it any wonder that people flocked to hear him speak? And isn’t it strange that the people who criticized him most were those who professed to be the most religious? (Matthew 12:14)

Churches who are successfully winning people to Christ may find they have a lot more in common with bars than they thought.

Prescription: For further study on how Jesus met people’s needs read:

(1) How Jesus Treated People, by Morris Venden. Publisher, Pacific Press. Available at your local ABC (800) 765-6955.

(2) Love Walked Among Us, by Paul E. Miller. Publisher, NavPress. Available on Amazon.

(3) The Narrow Gate, by Curtis Rittenour. Publisher, Church Support Services (eBook format)

Once you’ve read a few segments, try practicing what you have learned.

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About Rich DuBose and Rich DuBose

Rich DuBose

is director of Church Support Services for the Pacific Union Conference

Rich DuBose

writes from Northern California

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