Tuesday, November 18, 2008

An Occupational Hazard

One of the occupational hazards of being a preacher is that you tend to engage people (including strangers) in conversation. Yesterday, after visiting one of our church members in the hospital, I went to lunch with my pastor and our worship minister (we all arrived at the hospital separately but at the same time). Since it was lunch time, there was a bit of a line at the Subway when we arrived. I was going to work after lunch and was wearing my work badge which is on a American Red Cross lanyard.

The guy in front of me notices the lanyard and says that his wife works for the Red Cross in Jonesboro, Arkansas. After talking for a little while, I asked what brought him to Springfield. It turns out that he is a part of a good sized group of men that are on their way to Wichita, Kansas to help with a church plant! Imagine that! Two Southern Baptist preachers (one a pastor, one an evangelist) that just start talking to each other only to find out that they share so much in common. There is a moment of disappointment when you've engaged somebody in conversation and you realize that you are not going to get to share God's plan of salvation with them or ask them if they go to church anywhere or what they think about heaven, hell or eternity. But then you rejoice that they already know Jesus as Savior and greet each other as brothers in Christ.

If you are so inclined (and I hope that you are) please remember Pastor Ric and the crew of men that are partnering with God and the church plant in Wichita when you go to God in prayer. I know that they will appreciate your part in the Kingdom Ministry.

Meanwhile, I'll keep working on getting over this shyness about talking to strangers!

John

7 comments:

Mike said...

I thought I was going to catch you here but "church planting" is actually in wikipedia. There are eight types of church planting. But there are also theological objections to church planting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_plant

John said...

Church planting always reminds me of the guy that wanted to start a chicken farm. He went to the local farm and feed store and bought two dozen chicks. A week later he was back to get two dozen more. The clerk commented that things must be going well for him to be expanding so soon. The wannabe farmer said that the first two dozen had all died. Now he just had to figure out if he had planted them too close together or too deep!

There are also wrong ways to go about church planting!

Sicilian said...

I think the best church plants start in homes and grow from there. It gives people ownership.
Ciao

Kevin said...

I wanna be better at the evangelizing thing.

I did catch myself yesterday standing up for a friend who is a new believer in Christ. A mutual friend was referring to his conversion as scary and I tried to reassure him that there was nothing scary about it at all. I knew God would not be happy with me if I sat there in agreement.

John said...

Good for you, Kevin.
Sometimes it helps to separate witnessing from evangelizing. Witnessing is telling people about what God has done for you. This is usually not too difficult.
It becomes evangelism when you begin to tell them what God can do for them! (kind of a natural progression)

Kevin said...

Yes, that's it. I can easily tell people about what God has done for me because He's been so real. I suppose it isn't too far a leap to tell them what He can do for them as well. I'll keep that in mind...in fact, maybe that's how I can approach the subject should I find a way to work into our conversation what God has done for me.

Not that I worry about offending people with talk of Christ but I do worry that I may turn them off and that wouldn't be productive. I'm always conscious of that.

Like I was telling my trainee today...hey, just reach out and do it...it's not like you're going to lose a limb.

Sherer said...

Very refreshing too see two brothers in Christ rejoicing over the fact that they already know Jesus instead of engaging over some pointless banter over whether worship should be done with your hands up or your hands down. I apologize for my run on sentence, but am very encouraged with your post.

Jesse