So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Philemon 1:6

FRONT PAGE - here you will find the last 20 postings about recent conversations. Please pray for these people!

Much to Learn

5/3/13                       Tom              about 45
Taking the initiative to share the Gospel also means taking the initiative to learn how.  I want to learn to share the good news of Jesus with many different types of people in all sorts of situations, so that I can be “…useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.” (2 Tim 2:21)  With that in mind I stopped by a friendly neighborhood tavern on my way home from work.  I don’t make a habit of hanging out in bars, (and possibly risking my reputation?) but for the sake of the Gospel I am willing to do so.  It took a while to get used to the low light and loud pulsing music, and I sat there for quite some time getting a feel for the place, feeling like an anthropologist.  For all anyone knew, I could be waiting for someone, they didn’t know.  I was a people watcher, discretely, trying to figure out why people were there and how one could begin a Gospel conversation with them.  Many were meeting coworkers on a Friday after work, others were regulars, one man I talked to who seemed like the custodian turned out to be the owner of the place.  I realized most were there for very different reasons than those hanging out in the coffee shop across the street, a lot having to do with alcohol. Those who are comfortable in bars might laugh, but there is a huge difference between going to a bar for a beer with some friends and going for the purpose of sharing the Gospel!   But I felt like I was in the right place.  Recently, a church leader told me that “a lot of Christians will never share their faith out on the streets”.  I know he is right, but I also know it is equally true that a lot of people on the streets will never come into a church to hear the Gospel.  We need to go out to them.  If the church is a spiritual hospital where people receive healing, the streets and marketplace and, yes, the neighborhood bar, are the frontlines of battle.  Many pastors wonder why churchgoers are often reluctant to “put on the armor of God” (Eph. 6)   But why should they?  Armor is for those who take initiative, who charge into battle, but most don’t feel called to the frontlines!   We need to see a greater reason for all the Bible studies and sermons and discipleship – that we are in training to carry out the Great Commission, to “go” into all the world!   Instead, we are often just asked to invite people to church programs and services where the Gospel is preached.  Of course, this is important and helpful for those who come, but what about those who never will?  We need a greater vision than this!  Part of my vision is to add taverns to my list of places where I am able to share the Gospel.  Today was more for me to get a feel for the place, but I did talk with Tom, a Chicago museum tour guide.  He is an Episcopalian, which he described as “all the ritual of Catholicism without all the guilt!”  We talked a while about what seems to be a disconnect between faith and science, but in the end he said he was tired from work and just wanted to unwind (with his beer). It was a start, but I have much to learn…

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