Back in 1997, we had just moved into our new building and were trying to sell our old building with little success. Finally a man came to see me who wanted to buy the building for his church. I asked him how many people he had coming, and he replied, “Oh, none, yet, but I’d like to start one.”
I think he got the cart before the horse. Church starts with people who need a meeting place, not a meeting place which needs people. I encouraged him to start a home Bible study and build from there, but he was determined to start with a building.
In D. L. Moody’s day, it was a common practice for people to rent a church pew rather than giving in an offering. One Sunday morning, 19-year old Moody marched down the aisle with a motley crew of society’s outcasts trailing behind him. He had rented four pews and was determined to fill them with those who were spiritually needy. Having taken the Savior’s “Go” personally (Matt. 28:19), he literally “went out into the highways and gathered together…both bad and good” (Matt. 22:10).
Let me encourage you to follow Moody’s example and invite someone to church with you think weekend. The pew’s already been paid for.