So about 7 years ago this week me and my now husband joined several other singles and 1 family on a missions trip to Scotland. Most people hear Scotland and think that’s like the equivalent of going on a missions trip in the US. that a missions trip is about going to a lesser nation and serving the poor/hungry/homeless/fill in the blank. but the reality is europe needs missionaries as much as the US as these cultures head deeper and deeper into a post-modern post-christian life style. the reality is third world countries see their need for God and not that they don’t need missionaries and aid but its a lot easy to convince them of their need for christ cause they are very aware of their needs. Where as in the post-modern world most of us don’t see our need for anyone but ourselves. we live a life all about how we can accomplish anything and do anything or be anything we desire on our own skills and knowledge, we ask for little help cause we can do it ourselves and we place a high value on that independence.
So we went on this trip and on one of the first days in Scotland we did a prayer walk, we walked the city we visited and prayed over it. at one point we stopped to have lunch in a park and I ended up in conversation with a guy playing rugby. He heard us say we were visiting from the US on a missions trip and he looked straight at me and asked why I would “come on holiday to tell people about God” he expressed that he wanted to know about my God because if I was willing to use my holiday for such a thing then there must be something about him. I proceeded to tell him the ways my God had impacted my life deeply and why I was so excited to serve him. you could see the change in him as we compared stories and I boldly asked if I could pray for him, to which he wanted to know if I had a bible which I did not cause who needs a bible on a walk (hand to shaking head #fail) and then people unknowing what was going us were calling for me to leave and he got embarrassed in front of his friends and so I didn’t get to pray in that moment. But its been 7 years and I still pray for that man.
I’m thinking about him and praying for him tonight and sharing this because he came up on my heart after a leadership meeting at church. and I want to share why……
for almost a year I’ve been really struggling with all the conversation about post-modern post-christian people and how do we reach them. I’ve been reading books and having conversations about how do we do this for well 7 years just about and I’m finally in a place where I’m getting it and I’m trying to live it out and really figuring out how my own neighborhood is a mission field and I don’t need to go overseas to be on mission. for the first time its starting to click and I’m in a good place with God where I feel like he is calling me to live this stuff out that I’ve been talking about and struggling with for almost a decade and so here I am in this place and I have found myself this year frustrated with where I am at. feeling like I’m being passed up or not given opportunities to live this stuff out and lead and do things and other people are being given those chances to around me. there’s some pride mixed in with that but I realized tonight in praying about it that mostly I just haven’t asked God what he wants me to do with it and where I am at instead I keep saying what I think he should want to do with it. but I digress a bit. I’ve also been frustrated with the community around me and how there is still so much talk but little action. and to be honest tonight was just another one of those conversations… we were at a leadership meeting talking about evangelism in a post-modern culture. we talked about how to reach people today we need less programing and more relationships. and then this 20 something from 7 years ago comes to mind and i realized some really good things.
first yes todays evangelism is about relationship not programs. but a relationship isn’t a formula like we as christians so often make it. it’s not about knowing someone for 3 years and then having this perfect moment to share christ and then they will accept him and be saved. a relationship can be 5 min or 10 years. we simply need to let the spirit lead us. if we are intentional and vulnerable the spirit may lead us to share with in minutes if he knows that person in a place to hear it or it may take us years of being intentional with someone before they are in a place to really hear and accept christ. shoot i didn’t and still don’t even know this guys name but for 7 years I’ve been regularly praying for him.
that brings me to my second point. it’s not enough to be in relationship no matter how long that relationship is. we need to be intentional we need to be raw and we need to be honest. it’s not enough to just be nice and hang out we have to bold enough to share. that means if God blesses you with a job you can’t just say hey let’s celebrate I got a job we have to be bold enough to say praise God he provided me with a job. if we are sick and God heals us let’s not just say we had amazing doctors but give God the glory and say he healed us. this also means we need to be inconvenienced. it’s not enough just to be nice and to speak of our God. The post-modern is all about action, words are not enough. and our actions have to be bold we have to be willing to be inconvenienced. for that guy int he park he wanted to know about God in those first few minutes because it blew his mind that I would give up my only vacation for the year to fly 1/2 way around the world to share about my God. it doesn’t always have to be that grand of a gesture to be inconvenienced, it could be as simple as dropping off a meal for no reason, or offering to babysit for your neighbor even when your tired or have 4 of your own kids, it could be offering to walk their dog or house sit, or loan them something. or it could be big like giving them $ to pay their rent when they lost their job, or fixing their car, or helping paint their house or clean their house. or could be as simple as offering to pray in that moment over them. whatever it is it’s not as simple as being nice to them anyone can be nice it’s when they know its convenient but we do it anyway with a happy heart that strikes them as abnormal, and its that behavior that is going to make them want to know more.
and the last thing that struck to me tonight as we talked about evangelism was we may never see the fruit of our efforts. the bible does not promise us that we will see the fruit. it doesn’t say if you do x y and z for this amount of time then someone will become a christian. if it did then the glory would be ours. we would get the credit for all our work and it’s not about that. God gets the glory. sure you may get to see the fruit on occasion but not always. I will never know what my prayers have done for this guy, shoot maybe I’m praying for him and he is already a christian I don’t know and that’s ok. cause it’s not about me. it’s about God. we are mearly here to sew those seeds. count yourself blessed if you see the fruit.
So all this to say be encouraged, as i was tonight thinking about it to be bold and live out the life God is calling you where ever you at. don’t think you need to be doing big things, or be in leadership, or be in the perfect church environment, or community to serve God. 7 years ago i was a 20 something who was just figuring out who she was in christ, i was in no place to lead anyone to christ, and yet God stopped me and forced me to be bold to share my faith with someone who didn’t believe and still 7 years later that 1 moment is significant and impacting my walk and hopefully my prayers and that conversation are affecting that guy. It was not the perfect formula or program it was simply me trusting God & letting the spirit lead.