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Our Pastor’s tenure with us is coming to a close. As we approach his last month, I’ve reflected upon his many contributions to the spiritual growth of our church. In my opinion, I believe his primary contribution has to do with his zeal for the gospel and challenging us to be more gospel-focused.
By this I mean, he has made it a high priority that we actively pursue and create opportunities to tell others about Jesus. He has taken the focus off us and redirected it to the proclamation of the good news about Jesus to those not now part of our church – to friends, working colleagues, neighbours, and family members who are outside the family of God.
As I reflected on this, I recall an early post on this blog that reflected my attitude to unbelievers. I wonder if my behaviour would be any different today than it was then – I hope so.
[That post below.]
I was sitting in my office today next to a large window that overlooks a small garden and the gated entrance to our property. I heard the bell ring and looked out to see a very well dressed attractive woman somewhere in her mid twenties, carrying an umbrella. It was raining and it was apparent that she had been out in the rain for some time. She caught my eye and smiled.
I nodded and went to the intercom which connects to our gate. I greeted her with a cool, “Yes?”
“I’m from a local community group and I would like to invite you to an event we are planning.” she responded.
I had noticed she had some literature in a folder she was carrying. “Can you leave the information in my mailbox?” I asked.
“No worries.” And she left.
In spite of that quaint Aussie phrase, I did worry. Was I being too cold, too defensive, too suspicious? I thought to myself, there is something incongruous with a large brick and iron fence with a locked gate and the “Who is my neighbour?” question of Luke 10. So I quickly went to the mailbox to see what she left. Perhaps it would be an invitation to attend a local church – I’ve never received one before – perhaps this time.
“The local congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses invites you to attend a convention…”
I suppose that I wasn’t surprised. But I was disappointed. How I had wanted her to be a Christian who was sharing the gospel, the good news about Jesus, with her neighbours. Come to think about it, that has never happened to me, either in a door knocking situation or in a one-on-one.
Why is it that we Christians, who have the greatest story ever told, are so reluctant to share it with others? Here is this zealous young woman, so sadly misled by a heresy that will keep her from knowing the Jehovah she claims to serve, braving inclement weather to share what she has with others – with neighbours – with strangers.
What’s wrong with this picture?
Well, I can tell you one thing that’s wrong. Here I am decrying the fact that no one (outside of a church situation) has ever shared the gospel with me. The tone of this post is accusatory concerning the failure of other believers when it comes to sharing the gospel.
But what about me?
I had an opportunity to share the good news with this woman – but I didn’t. I was no better than those whom I was accusing. I wonder if my behaviour would be any different today than it was then?
I hope so.