Why I Love Roots

I was leading Roots a week or so ago, and afterwards Matthew and Gabriel and their mom told me a story. They come to Roots with their parents because their dad works on Sunday mornings. They really love the service. So much so, that when their cousin was visiting, they decided to keep Roots going at home.
They thought of a service and then they made up some bulletins. They asked their parents if they would watch them as they practiced—which they did—4 times! Then they went out into their neighborhood and knocked on doors to invite people to come to Roots.
They had 4 people come to the service. The “sermon” was a skit about Moses and Pharoah and they sang songs to Jesus. Isn’t that a great story?!
Roots is our Sunday evening service at SLC. It starts at 5 and is typically a small crowd—around 10-15 people. The service is contemplative, meaning the music is repetitive and fosters a mood where you have a chance to think about God in a more quiet way. The service is very participatory. Everyone gets to share their thoughts about the Bible reading for the day [if they want to]. We pray together, light candles, share communion. No wonder the kids felt so comfortable playing it on their own. They felt they knew what they were doing.
Pastor Jonathan often says that there are no guests in worship, there are only participants. And one of the reasons I love Roots is because that is so clear in that service. But even more than Roots, I love how Matthew and Gabriel spread Roots into their “world.”
I often think that kids are our very best evangelists. They don’t seem to worry as much about inviting a friend, or bringing someone to church.
I wish I could be more like that. I wish I could just invite someone without worrying about offending them. I wish all of us were better about that. And I wonder if maybe one of our problems is that we think about it too much. A lot of the people the boys invited did not come, but four did. They didn’t dwell on the no’s, the celebrated the yes’s. And they invited them to something they were part of and had a stake in. It was their Roots and they wanted to share it.
I hope you feel that way about worship. It is yours. It is like, as Jesus said, a treasure hidden in a field. When that man found the treasure, he didn’t just dig it up, he bought the whole field. Because he had to have it and he had to share it.
I think we make “evangelism” too hard. It isn’t about having all the right answers or the perfect church. It is about sharing something with a friend. They might not be interested. Shake the dust off your sandals and just move on—like the disciples did. But if you have this treasure, how can you not want to send it out into the world?
I hope we all can be a little more like Matthew and Gabriel.


One response to “Why I Love Roots

  1. This article is really helpful – right on P2! Timely too as our latest NCD survey shows that “personal evangelism” is one of our greatest growth areas. I’m going to take this to heart.

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