6/9/12 Mike, 34
Today I was given a new perspective on a familiar verse found in Matthew 18:20 - "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” I've often heard this verse used, frankly, to give hope in church meetings that have disappointingly low attendance. But today it took on new meaning for me. Lately I've been very busy and have been going out to witness alone, usually on my way home from work, for the sake of convenience. I'd almost forgotten the joy of witnessing with others from church, but today decided to go with Luke, our supported elder, to a nearby neighborhood where we hope to establish a new church plant one day. We dove into some conversations with a people in a crowd hanging out in the shade near a street corner. One man I spoke with was an African American named Mike, who had grown up in a strong Baptist church tradition but after neglecting his church and being in and out of prison, he seemed to have long since forgotten what church was all about. He is heavily involved in a life of street hustling. Nonetheless he seemed confident of his own goodness and his place in heaven when he dies. A question I asked caught his attention: "If you believe you are going to heaven but are wrong and are really going to hell, when would you want to know?" This began an earnest conversation, in which I felt myself giving Mike a healthy dose of biblical truth mixed with love. As we talked, I glanced over at Luke a few times, who was himself engaged in lively dialogue with others. Two or three were gathered in Jesus' name there on that street corner, and it felt like He was there with us. It felt like church!