Here’s the premise: Everyone is somewhere on a spiritual journey. They might be going around in circles, they might be moving away from God or they might be moving towards him, but they are somewhere on a journey. I understand my call from God to be to help people take a step in the right direction, a step towards faith in Jesus Christ.
Recognising where a person may be on this faith trail is an important part of my outward focussed journey as I seek simply to be there and to be available for God to use however he chooses. I remember John Wimber saying, “I’m just small change in God’s pocket to use how he wants.” I feel like that too.
As an idea it affects outreach because I’m no longer responsible for just helping people cross the line of faith, but I’m open to any involvement in the process at any point along it’s path. I become an evangelisitic nudger and encourager, nudging people towards Jesus and encouraging them to explore the possibilities faith offers. Rather than looking for the opening to share the gospel, I look for any opening to do anything that would nudge or encourage.
It affects the way we do church too, because church needs to be a safe place where people can come and ask questions. A place where they can arrive incomplete and not feel bad about it. A place where they can feel that they belong even if the don’t beleive the right things yet or behave in the right way either.
That’s a frightening thought really. If people are just allowed to come to church and “be” how will they every realise that they’re a sinner in need of saving? Well, I’m trusting God to do what he promises to do. He said that his Spirit would do the convicting and convincing, I’m just going to try cooperating with him.
I think that to be a truly outwardly focussed church we’ll need to accept a little spiritual mess in church. After all we’ve known for a long time that we’re not perfect, so why should anyone joining us have to perfect before they come in?
Friday, July 24, 2009
Everybody has to be somewhere
From the archives again.