Our slogan and passion at Community Christian Church is “helping people find their way back to God.” This phrase always resonates with the unchurched and connects with their growing spiritual hunger. However, the churched will sometimes hear this and say, “What? I thought we were about reaching lost people; explain that to me.” Here is why we are all about HPFTWBTG! It starts with an understanding that “in the beginning” that God created a perfect world and had a perfect relationship with all of His creation including man. This is evident by God declaring, “it is very good.” In the middle of this perfect world and a perfect relationship man sinned and went from intimacy and community with God to a state of lost-ness (Eph.2). Ever since then God has desired to help all people find their way back to Him. II Corinthians 5:17-20 explains this: 17Anyone who believes in Christ is a new creation. The old is gone! The new has come! 18It is all from God. He brought us back to himself through Christ’s death on the cross. And he has given us the task of bringing others back to him through Christ. 19God was bringing the world back to himself through Christ. He did not hold people’s sins against them. God has trusted us with the message that people may be brought back to him. 20So we are Christ’s official messengers. It is as if God were making his appeal through us. Here is what Christ wants us to beg you to do. Come back to God! God’s love was so passionate that He came in the person of Jesus to provide the way back to that intimate relationship. As followers of Jesus we are given the task of “helping people find their way back to God.”
A couple other thoughts: People, even in their state of lost-ness often sense that something is missing. Ecclesiastes 3:11 reminds us that “God has set eternity in the hearts of men…” There is a God shaped void in the hearts of men (I think that is Blaise Pascal). HPFTWBTG is definitely the theme of the parable of the prodigal son. It is a story that connects with people who are far from God: a son who has a home with a loving Dad but chooses to leave it all behind to go his own way. Through the pain of his journey away from home he “comes to his senses” and finds His way back to a waiting and loving father. That is why we are all about HPFTWBTG!