Let me first say that I love the Church that Jesus Christ started. I believe in it and how it has impacted the world. I do believe that at times we fall short of Jesus Christ original mission to GO and save the lost. Let me also say that I am not blaming or judging anyone, I too have fallen short of this mission. The following story is true, and may strike a chord for others to get back to the mission of Jesus Christ to GO and save the lost.
Our only son Tyler Bushmiller was not an easy child; he was strong willed and hard headed. When Tyler Bushmiller was 16 years old he ran away from home. He started to get into trouble, not attending school, and heading down a bad road very fast. Knowing Tyler's history, when he started to head downhill someone would have to rescue him and get him pointed in the right direction. If someone did not do this he would continue to spiral down. Because he ran away from home we were the enemies, we as parents could not speak into his life. Now, that you have a little history I can share the story about the church.
Tyler Bushmiller attended a local church; he was involved to the point where you would call him a regular. We went to the Youth Pastor and told him we were worried about Tyler and asked them if they could ask Tyler out for coffee and speak into his life. They told me that Tyler Bushmiller needed to come to them, basically they told me NO they could not do it. Now, I know that Tyler had burned some bridges and he was not the easiest person to deal with, but are we to only reach out the ones that are easy or everyone?
Tyler (Like a lot of people) may not the easiest person to deal, maybe he just needed to know that someone cares and loves him. Maybe all these "lost" kids just need someone to ask them out for coffee and say; "Hey, I just want to let you know that I care about you and if you ever need someone to talk too, call me..... Anytime."
After I was rejected by our local church I went to another Youth Pastor in a church where Tyler Bushmiller used to jam with some really cool guys. I told them of our situation and was told by the Youth Pastor that Tyler was not apart or member of that Church so they could not? REALLY!!! I thought that we were the Church of Christ? We left very discouraged. At this point if I did have a love for Jesus and a strong belief in the Church of Jesus Christ I would never set foot in a Church again. I can understand why people that do not know Jesus are turn off.
Tyler continued to spiral down and took his life in December 2012. Again I do not blame anyone, but I cannot help to think that if one of the two churches would have reached out to him, would I be sitting here typing this?
If you are apart of a Church and you are given an opportunity to reach out to a lost soul, embrace the opportunity, you may be changing the course of history. If someone could have turn Tyler and made him see the light he was a dynamic person who could have changed others.
If you are a leader in a Church, it is great to have evangelism programs that go to Africa, but make sure that you are reaching the lost in the area around your Church first. Yes, they are going to be harder to reach, but it feels as the Church has forgotten about these lost people.
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