by Erin Bird

If you caught last week’s blog post, you know we are walking through a series about Riverwood’s mission, which is…

To invite the spiritually disconnected to find and follow Jesus.

Last week we talked about Invitation. So this week, we need to look at the next set of words – “spiritually disconnected.”

Who are the “Spiritually Disconnected?”

In the church world, pastors have all sorts of terms for people their churches hope to reach.

[list type=unordered extra=]
[list_item]Seekers[/list_item]
[list_item]Non-Churched[/list_item]
[list_item]Un-Churched[/list_item]
[list_item]De-Churched[/list_item]
[list_item]The Lost[/list_item]
[/list]

As LeAnn and I began to live and move within the Waverly community, it didn’t seem right to label people “un-churched.” Most people in our area have some sort of “church” connection. Whether it be the one they visit on Easter, or the one they have membership in (but never go to), or just the church that their Grandma went to, they seem to identify with some sort of church.

But what many of these people didn’t seem to have was Jesus. Most people talk about believing in God and being a “good” person, but they can’t articulate exactly who Jesus is and what the cross really means.

But Jesus made it clear why He came to earth. In John 14:6, Jesus said,

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Our sin makes us disconnected from God. To be reconnected with God means to follow Jesus. He is the way to God.

Obviously, this means people who don’t follow Jesus are “spiritually disconnected.” This is why Riverwood is for people who not only don’t go to a church, but also for those who don’t know Jesus personally yet.

However…

If I am honest with myself, I am not fully formed as a Jesus-follower yet. I am caught in what some theologians call the Now/Not Yet.

Because my faith is in Christ, I am now an adopted son of God. My sin is forgiven. I am covered by the grace of Jesus.

However, I still struggle with sin. I am not yet fully following Jesus. I don’t yet fully love like Jesus nor fully live like Jesus.

So I am NOW a child of God, but I am NOT YET fully living out that identity.

Which means I am, in many ways, still spiritually disconnected.

Therefore, Riverwood is for me. I may know Jesus personally, but I still need the daily and weekly reminders of the gospel and the call to follow Jesus. (That is why every week at Riverwood, we look at the gospel and how to follow Jesus.)

So when a non-Christian walks in on a Sunday, we don’t look down upon them in any way, because we need the same thing they need. We need Jesus. I may have new life in Christ that they don’t have yet, but I know that apart from the grace of God, I am no different than anyone else.

So when we talk about inviting the spiritually disconnected, it means people who feel disconnected from God in any way and area. And we invite them, trusting that through the message, through the music, through our Growth Groups, through our conversations, God will open their eyes to the Gospel, and we will see them connect with God through Jesus.