Last week, I spent a few days at the Breakout Pioneer Gathering which was an encouraging and inspirational time! (Pioneers are people who are trying to work in new and creative ways to help people who don’t know Jesus yet to have opportunities to connect with him).
It is so helpful to have time to stop and think and as a result of having some space by being at the gathering, I stopped worrying about something that I didn’t know was even troubling me. Better than that, I even began celebrating something I had been discouraged about.
At Orchard Baptist we have been encouraged by lots of new people joining the church in the past year. Because of the relaxed, down to earth and creative way we do church, some of those people are reconnecting with church life or their faith. Orchard is becoming a home where people can explore what it means to be a follower of Jesus in the 21st Century and this is very encouraging.
Despite this growth, I have been discouraged because we haven’t had many people who are new to the Christian faith.
One of the things that I remembered and re learnt at the Breakout Gathering is that God is at work in everyone’s life in different ways. It’s natural to want to celebrate someone coming to know and follow Jesus because they have discovered hope and life. Alongside this though, we also need to celebrate when we see God at work in the lives of people who are on their way towards him
In the past year, we haven’t seen many new Christians but we have seen many, many, and I mean many God moments.
One of the things that I have been intentionally trying to do is to say something like ‘that reminds me of something that Jesus said’ if it seems appropriate in a conversation. As I have done this, the thing I have talked about the most is Jesus calming the storm with the words ‘peace be still’. As I speak with people who are stressed or afraid of what lies ahead, I have told the story and have encouraged them to hear the words of Jesus, ‘peace be still’ speaking to the storms and stresses in their minds and circumstances. None of these people have become Christians that I am aware of but the have all had God moments as they have been given the chance to encounter Jesus and to receive his peace.
How about you? How do you measure your success in sharing the good news?
If we look for, join in with and celebrate God moments in the lives of people who don’t know Jesus yet then we will realize that we have so much to celebrate.