Why Christians Belong in Bars

🌺 Published by Brittany Ann

Why Christians Belong in Bars Pin

I have something to say. And some of you aren’t going to like it. And that’s okay. The truth hurts sometimes.

 

Most of you live in a bubble. (I do too.)

 

You live in your nice, safe neighborhoods. You take your children to nice, safe schools (or even better, you homeschool them so they don’t have to go to school at all). You go to your nice, safe grocery store on the nice side of town and your nice, safe church where they sing the music you like and everyone looks like you. You drive your nice, safe car, and if it ever breaks down, you have a friend give you a ride instead of taking public transportation.

 

Sometimes, when you’re feeling very generous (or guilty) you think about those less fortunate than you and you decide “Maybe I should do something.” So you write a nice, safe check or you pack meals in a nice, safe facility or you donate supplies that someone else will take away for you. So you don’t really even have to think about it. It’s easy. convenient. comfortable. 

 

I get it. Trust me, I do. I have children that I worry about and want the best for. And you better believe we go to the nice, safe grocery and the nice, safe church and the nice, safe private school. And when we volunteer–well, my kids serve too, so nice, safe opportunities it is.

 

Now, don’t get me wrong. There is NOTHING wrong with private school, homeschool, going to the nice, safe anything or writing a check to charity. Those are all great things, and I’m grateful that we have those opportunities.

 

But is that what God is really calling us to? A life that amounts to little more than “nice,” “safe,” “convenient” and “comfortable?” Or is He calling us to something us to something so much more?

 

You see, while you are in your nice, safe little bubble and all of your friends and family are in their nice, safe little bubbles–there’s a whole world out there that is not. A world struggling with drug addictions, domestic abuse, mental illness, homelessness, pain, hopelessness and fear. And while you enjoy your latest Target trip to see what cute things you can find to spruce up your home (I went this morning–found a cute kitchen rug), there are people out there literally trying to scrape up any money they can just so they can eat.

 

(Don’t gloss over that. Let it sink in for a minute.)

 

Do you know the needs of the people around you? Do you really? If your neighbors were struggling to make ends meet or dealing with problems behind closed doors–would you know? And if you did know, would you help? Or would you say “good luck with that” and retreat back to your own nice, safe little bubble?

 

In my post, 25 Easy Ways to Share the Gospel, I wrote: “Go to a bar and talk to people. (No, I’m not joking.) Find out their life story. Share yours.” and some people were offended. Christians don’t belong in bars! Do you know what people DO there? And if Christians were there, they might do it too!

 

Now there is some truth to this–If you have a drinking or sleeping-around problem, yes, please stay out of the bars. Go evangelize somewhere else. The world is your oyster! Go talk to homeless people on the streets or hang out in half-way houses or whatever you like instead.

 

Read also: Should Christians Drink?

 

But, for the rest of us…

 

When you look back at Jesus’s life–where did he spend his time? It wasn’t with the “religious” people–the pharisees. In fact, he didn’t take too kindly to them at all. Instead, he surrounded himself with “sinners” and met the people where they were.

 

“After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.

Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”

Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” –Luke 5:27-32

 

(side note: the tax collectors were the social outcasts in Jesus’s day)

 

There’s an entire world out there that needs to hear what God wants to say through you. But how will they hear, if you don’t go? How will they know if you don’t tell them?

 

Sure, they could come to your church… but put yourself in their shoes for a second. If you were addicted to drugs, homeless, or had completely lost your way–would you feel comfortable in a church? Would you have a way to get there or even a way to figure out when church is? And then what… you walk in in your street clothes and instead of being welcome, everyone just stares at the “outsider,” because after all… the church is full of screw-ups and we all judge from time to time. No thanks. 

 

Read also: Yes, Christians Should Judge

 

No, if you want to reach the hurting and the lost–you need to reach them where they are. And that means going TO them in the midst of their messy situation and walking with them every messy step of the way. It’s not an easy task–but then again, Jesus never told us it would be.

 

And honestly, do you want easy? Or do you want to dive in deep, meet people where they are, and be a part of real life transformation (for them AND you)?

 

10 Ways to Meet People Where They Are

 

  1. Go to a bar and talk to people. Find out their life story. Share yours.
  2. Volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center.
  3. Donate teddy bears to children at the battered women’s shelter. Drop them off personally, and get to know the kids.
  4. Become a CASA advocate.
  5. Start a prison ministry.
  6. Get permission to visit people in the hospital. Ask them if you can pray for them.
  7. Become a foster parent.
  8. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Don’t just pass out food. Talk to people. Get to know them.
  9. Spend some time visiting at the local nursing home. Really listen to their stories.
  10. Introduce yourself to new people at church. Be truly warm and welcoming, no matter what they look or smell like.

 

Warning: Do any of these ten things, and you’ll likely encounter people who are very different from you–only to realize that maybe… they aren’t really that different after all. And Jesus loves them too.

 

Have you ever intentionally gone out of your way to leave your bubble to seek out and help those who are truly in need? If not, or if it’s been a while, what is one way you could change that, starting today?

Brittany Ann

Brittany Ann is an author, speaker, and founder of EquippingGodlyWomen.com, a popular Christian-living website dedicated to helping women be “all in” in faith and family.

  1. Excellent exhortation – dare to live like Jesus and hang out with the people who need Him! Great suggestions at the end. Before we moved the kids and I walked across the street once a week to spend an hour at a convalescent hospital. That was a couple years ago now, so I’ve been mulling an idea over to work out and jump into this summer – making visits to the local VA hospital. Still have to work out the logistics of including the kids.

    1. Yes, kids definitely make things more challenging, but I find it’s usually worth it to have them there serving too!

  2. Brittany, I have been following your blog for about three months. Somehow, I missed the blog on which side you came down on. You are Christian woman who has done her due diligence. I think you went through the RCIA program. So, did you convert? I’ve been reading your blogs, and honestly, I can’t tell.
    I am so curious. Is there a way I can get a copy of that final blog post? I would love to see the reasons you gave for your decision.
    Thanks, and God bless you and your family!

    1. lol, probably! I’m sure there are PLENTY of other places you can share the Gospel though 🙂 Not every person has to be in every place!

  3. A bit of education:
    After Martin Presented his Thesis, he attempted to hold gathering with like minded people. The Catholic Church was a governed religion. If the people did not partake on Saturday (the original and true Sabbath), they were persecuted in many ways; including death. Therefore, Martin Luther changed the meeting day to Sundays (this is how Sunday Church Came about). To help spread the Gospel, Martin Luther would spend every Saturday Evening in the Pubs. It obviously worked. Look at the world today. We must get our hands dirty. Jesus was the FIRST to do so. We should follow his steps. He lived day to day, with no home, extra clothes, or food in tow. He lived by Faith, that our FATHER would provide. FATHER did. We should do the same.
    Our family has chosen to give up many luxuries. We have also chose to live sustainably and homeschool. We wanted to speak of Christ when we chose, and not fear of offending co-workers. Therefore, we own our own business (where we have so many chances to do as Christ asks-Love others
    as he loves us). We are blessed to help the hurt by living out our faith. We don NOT speak of Christ, unless we are asked, or asked what makes us so unique (we get this one a lot). We can then, discuss our faith honestly, without others feeling pressured or brow beat. Living out your faith daily, 24/7 WORKS!!!
    Just think, if Martin Luther would have NEVER hung out in PUBS, where would we be?

    Thank you for your post. I feel encouraged and Blessed to have found it.

  4. I would agree with the majority of this post except you ruined it by telling people to go to bars to witness.Humans are designed to be influenced by their surroundings, which is why the good Lord told us to ” not cast your pearls before swine”. We are not to judge those frequenting bars, we are to love them but we do NOT have to join them. Lead by example, not by conformity! Why not hang outside the bar? With free Tylenol,water or a free ride home?

    1. I’m not sure that that’s what that verse means… And also, I didn’t say go get drunk and do drugs. I said go in a bar (as one option). Not all bars are pits of despair, lol. There actually are family bars where nice people (even church people) go and hang out. And I would argue that being in a bar talking about Jesus instead of drinking IS leading by example… just some food for thought 🙂

      1. There are plenty of non-Christians who don’t drink or go to bars, You can very easily meet people at a cafe. Do you feel pressured to attend bars with your husband, are you afraid that he might get angry if you refused to go with him? can you honesty go to these places with a clean conscience (and be honest)? it sounds to me like you’re getting to close to the world.

      2. Yes, that is true. But what about the people who DON’T go to cafes? What about those who only go to the bars? Who will minister to them? Don’t they need to hear about Jesus too? Or just the people who go to “acceptable” places?

        And to answer your questions — no, he would not be angry at all. He’s the one who typically goes while I stay home with our children. I honestly rarely ever go, but I really have no problem with it on the rare occasions that I do go. Everyone sins differently, and drinking really has never been much of a temptation for me, so it isn’t something I personally worry about myself.

      3. I think it’s very dangerous for you to be ignorant of why people go bars in the first place. The people who only go to bars, use alcohol as a crutch to get through life, stressful times, it’s called dependency and there are many people like this out there. It’s no different using other narcotics such as cannabis, opium or magic mushroom. When you, your husband or any Christian for that matter go to these places you’re encouraging people to continue using this drug as a crutch to get through life, regular moderate alcohol usage leads to long term effects on the body, you need to wake up!! and start realising what you’re doing!!

      4. Oh, I’m very aware of why most people go to bars. What I’m saying is that not EVERYONE who goes to bars goes there for that reason. And what I’m also saying is that these people – who go to bars to get drunk – need Jesus too. And if we’re just going to sit around in Sunday School and wait for them to come to us, well, that may never happen.

        Acts 1:8 says. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”” — Jesus didn’t tell them “Just go talk to nice people at church.” He said go out into all the world. And what you may or may not know is that at the time, Jews and Samaritans were basically enemies. They did NOT intermix. This would have been a VERY scandalous thing to say at the time. The Jews considered Samaritans unclean and wouldn’t go near them.

        But Jesus didn’t say “Stay away, they might pollute you.” He said – Go to them — even the “unclean” — because they need me too.

        For people who struggle with drinking – yes, they should stay out of bars. But there are plenty of lost souls there, and someone needs to go.

      5. I wasn’t talking about alcoholics or drunks, you really need to listen! on the contrary I’m talking about those who are not. Most people who attend these places or pubs for that matter, after work, use it to deal with stress, not to get drunk. You don’t have to be a heavy drinker in order for alcohol to have a negative impact on your health. Regularly moderate drinking has a detrimental effect on your liver, which is exactly what they have in countries like France, Spain and Portugal, if people in the UK made it part of their everyday life, like they do in those countries, it would cost the NHS. http://www.newagora.ca/surprising-effects-of-moderate-alcohol-consumption-by-anna-hunt/ which is BBC documentary which follows a study they conducted on twins one which binged the other stuck to the government limit of three units a day and results that came back at the end of the month. Please make an effort to watch it then back to me and tell me what you think.

      6. If husband goes to these places regularly, sounds more like he doesn’t go there to evangelise but to drink.

  5. As a christian bartender i have been able to not over serve because i care, ive been able to pray openly with those hurting, i dress conservatively, with emphasis on my fill sleeve tattoes, when asked to explain them. I can give the story of my witness, my real job is riding motorcycles for highway patrol when people at the bar find out it also gived me the opportunity for them to see my heart more clearly, thank you for this article, ive been told to quit by many christians, my answer continues to be, then who will help the hurting?

  6. Thank you so much for this article. It’s exactly how I feel. I want to serve the world! There isn’t much evangelism I’m my church and that stifles me. I want to be in the trenches where it really matters#

  7. While you might have that attitude, going to a bar to be a witness for Jesus will only make you the laughing stock of the bar crowd. People are at bars to drink and have a “good time.” The LAST thing they want is someone talking them about Jesus! Now you may not agree with me, but you can take it from a person whose life was lived in the bars before Jesus so gloriously saved me! I would have had no respect for a person claiming to be a Christian hanging out in my territory. After all, no one knew better than me what goes on in the bars, and it is not Sunday School lessons. Bars are the devil’s playground and no place for a Christian. Witness to those people in their homes or in the hospital. Pray and ask God to send you to those who need to hear. God is big and all knowing. He is able to guide you to those who need you. Keep your testimony and respect – stay out of the bars. Bars are not places for Christians to go. By the way, when God saved me, it was not in a bar where I spent 90% of my waking hours. I was at home where the distractions of my playground couldn’t interfere with God’s convictions on my heart.

    1. I respect your opinion completely, but have to disagree. On the grounds that I’ve been to many bars (though I’m not a drinkers myself–just never cared for it) and the fact that my Christian husband DOES still go to bars regularly, where he does form relationships and share the gospel. Just because many people do not care about Jesus does not mean no one cares. If you feel more comfortable in a grocery store or hospital–that’s great! We need people there too! But for those people who spend time in bars, I’m glad some are there to witness to them

    2. We need more Christians like you in the church who stand their ground and refuse to compromise! nice to see someone’s using their common sense, instead who are too cowardly to speak the truth and continue to remain carnal, carnal methods attract carnal men and women! listen to Paul Washer!

  8. I am a father of six wonderful children and was very active in the church my children attended a christian school they have all matured in there faith 4 of my children were on a pool league at a local pub and talked openly about their faith people we met were more sociable than any church we ever went to must be that bubble

  9. Jesus didn’t go to where the sinner was to partake in conversation drink dance and socialize. Jesus’ sole purpose was to lead people to salvation. He was teaching the word of God to the lost. Jesus didn’t go for self indulgence he went with a purpose. Let us be honest, how many people are going in the club for the sole purpose of leading another person to Jesus Christ? I really do not think anyone is, for one thing it is almost impossible to discuss religion and politic with a lot of drunk people, even though these topics are very popular with drunkenness,you really get no where with the topic when people are drunk. After a night of drunkenness most people do good just remembering how they got home let alone a conversation that could save them from eternal damnation. The only reason you would be in a bar is for your own selfish reasons; to entertain ourselves. Do you think Jesus would do that? I really don’t. His intentions were not selfish indulgence. Telling people Jesus went to the sinner in their place of sin, so its okay for you to go is a perfect example how people use the Bible to do what they want and not what God wants. God does not want us socializing in places of sin. I don’t care how strong your faith is we can all fall victim to sin. Satan finds your weakness: He preys on it to lead you away from God and the more you are around sinful acts the more acceptable it becomes: look at society now. We are so far from God as a society, because little by little we as Christians have allowed it and this type of thinking misleads people. As a christian you have a responsibility to set an example. God knows that we are not perfect and we will sin. We all fall short of the glory of God, we are human. This is why God sent his son to die for us and gives us so many chances to be forgiven for all of our sins every day and every minute of the day through repentance. God knows that we will be weak and tempted. So why would you deliberately put yourself in places that are not of God. God says we are to be in the world and not of the world. We should try to surround ourselves in atmosphere and presence of god. That situation is not always available and that is where the Bible and church comes in. The Bible is a manual to live your life and the church to fellowship and be with people who are also have similar beliefs and lifestyles as you so you are not alone in this world, but also keep you strong in faith and obedient to God. If you still feel like you need to be of the world then you need to be on your knees asking God to fulfill those needs and to remove those desires. God has that ability.

    1. I agree with some of that, but not all. 🙂

      1. Yes, there are some Christians who seriously can go into bars with the sole purpose of witnessing. Just because not all do doesn’t mean that none can. If it is not for you. that’s fine! But *we’re all called differently* – some to church plants, some to bars, some to PTA meetings, some to jails…

      2. Also, not everyone who goes to the bar gets so drunk they don’t remember how they got home. This is a misconception. There are plenty of even family-friendly bars (the one down the road from our house actually legally allows children until a certain hour because it’s a restaurant too). Even from personal experience, I have gone to a bar plenty of times and not once EVER have I been so drunk I couldn’t remember how I got home (or even close). Just because some people do does not mean this is normal or typical.

      3. And yes, Satan does find our weaknesses, but we all have different weaknesses. Not everyone’s weakness is drinking. For those people who it is, then yes, by all means, flee! But for those who have never had an issue with alcohol, then it’s different. I, for one, have absolutely zero problem going to a bar and drinking water all night. I don’t really care for alcohol. Not for moral reasons. I’m just not into it. I’ve been around PLENTY of drinkers etc etc as well, and it’s just not something I personally wrestle with. (There are other things I do, don’t get me wrong! This just isn’t it)

      4. And yes, we need to be with people like us, but not JUST like people like us. How will others hear if we don’t go to them? There are plenty of people who will literally never go walk into a church on their own. Why would they? So we have to go to them.

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