ANDREW: Water from the Well
Water from the Well
One day Jesus met a woman drawing water from the town well. He asked her for help and a conversation began which was odd in those days for a man and woman meeting at the watering hole. However, what is especially unique about this encounter was that in the end the woman realized that just as she needed water from the well to quench her thirst, she needed to thirst for, taste, and be satisfied with the life Jesus offered. Jesus had said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14) This woman believed, and was so satisfied that she told all her friends about him.
When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well she debated about the appropriate place to have church. Jesus said that true worshipers will worship “in spirit and truth”. That is significant because the place does not matter. This has been well grasped by people today. They know place doesn’t matter, but there is a growing tendency to also conclude that worshiping with people doesn’t matter. In other words, they think that they don’t need the church (the people, not just the place), and can do Christianity on their own. In fact, recent research shows about 90% of those same people say, “I believe I can have a good relationship with God without being involved in a church.” 
There are plenty of reasons for this. Many people find Christians annoying. Furthermore, 77% of people (ages of 20-29) and 83% of people (30+ years) would say, “I think Christianity today is more about organized religion than about loving God and loving people.”
Is this what Jesus really meant? No. Jesus meant for his disciples to follow him together. He even sent them out in groups. The woman at the well went and told all her friends about Jesus and many people converted and met together in that city. Christianity is about relationships of loving God and loving others. Life without relationships is shallow and lacking maturity. Relationships test us and encourage us. This is exactly where the gospel applies to our lives. Jesus taught us how love people and resolve conflict and care for the hurting and those in need. This is one reason why we emphasize community groups and small groups studies so much.
So how do we reach people who are not interested in organized church? Through friendships. The good news is that many people are willing to go to church. 63% of people (ages of 20-29) and 47% of people (30+ years) say that “if a church presented truth to me in an understandable way that relates to my life now, I would attend.” And that usually starts because someone actually loves them and talks to them about their faith. People are actually more willing to listen to you tell about your faith than to go to church. 89% of people (ages of 20-29) and 75% of people (30+ years) say that “if someone wanted to tell me what he or she believed about Christianity, I would be willing to listen.”
Ed Stetzer summarizes this saying that people want authentic community, and they also want depth that wrestles with real life issues. They want social responsibility where people will make a difference for a better society. And they prefer a cross-generational connection with people.
How does all this relate to us (people together) at Spring Run? We think we can best help people become growing followers of Jesus in 3 key environments that help us to love God and love others:
- Sunday morning (Worship God in spirit and truth, and Faith & Life classes)
- Small Groups (Community Groups are the main forum, but also Men’s and Women’s small groups)
- Serving (on a ministry team helping the church, and serving the community in some way)
If you are not involved in each of these ways then let us help you get involved. If you are plugged into these environments but feel dry or empty like I sometimes do, then ask Jesus again to give you his living water that satisfies. Go back to the well and drink from the water of his grace. That might happen through prayer or reading the Bible but it might also happen by being willing to open up to other followers of Jesus who can walk with you through the struggles of life.
 The statistical data is drawn from a book called Lost and Found by Ed Stetzer.