10/3/10 Al about 25
Before church this morning I met with Ralph, a long time believer but relatively new to our local church. I enjoyed our time of fellowship but also being "on mission" as we walked in the neighborhood, looking to initiate a gospel conversation. We ran into a young man named Al as he came down the sidewalk. He remembered me from my years in running a local youth center, and seemed to have a lot of respect for me from this, staying to talk despite shivering in the cold morning air with no jacket. Al didn't remember anything from the youth center about the gospel, though we shared it often in large group settings. What we didn't do very much back then was share it individually, preferring instead to focus on building relationships, setting an example as Christian adults, and waiting for youth to ask us about our faith. But it's not the job of unbelievers to take the initiative in the sharing of the gospel. We are commanded to "go", not "wait". Looking back, I wish I had stepped out of my comfort zone and taken the initiative much more often, for we had a lot of time and the trust of the youth available to us. Well, Al heard the gospel again today. I realize he may need to hear it many more times before God's truth sinks in. The local church would be a wonderful place for this to happen, and Al knows he's invited. Just the same, I'm thankful for the privilege of telling him about Jesus (and our need for Him) one more time.