5/20/14 Michael 21
“Mid-Course Correction” - Part 2. In my last witnessing post I explained how my experiences have shown me how the same initiative I need to take as a believer in sharing the Gospel should motivate me to continue to reach out after the Gospel has been shared. Most of us know how that might look with people we know and have an ongoing relationship with, but what about people I've met on the street and likely won’t see again? I almost always share my name and cell phone number, inviting people to call or text if they want to talk more or have a question, but they rarely call back. Many say they will, and I believe they are sincere, but I think the pressures and distractions of life keep them from doing so. Michael, 21, whom I talked with for half an hour on a busy street corner yesterday, will probably fit this category. He was much like Luis whom I last wrote about, with a nominal church background and little thought of the things of God in his daily life. After I shared both the law and grace of the Gospel, using the law to show him his need for forgiveness and sharing Jesus as the one in whom to find that forgiveness, I asked him if it all made sense to him. “It makes a LOT of sense!” he said enthusiastically. I challenged him to have a long conversation about it with the Lord before his head hits the pillow that night, to repent and believe in Jesus, and when I gave him a church invitation card, he recognized the logo and said “I’ve been to that church!” He had been to another location of my church with some Christian friends, as well as another reputable church, so I said “It sounds like you have some great friends! I want to encourage you to keep going with them!” My other thought about follow up to my street conversations is that many people I talk with likely have some trusted friend or relative that they can go talk to if they are interested in talking further about spiritual things. Better to go to comfortable trusted relationship than with that crazy religious guy who was bold enough to approach them on the street! I’ve thought to myself, “That’s okay, that will give me more time to reach out to someone else.” But why is it that Michael’s friends brought him to church, several times, but when I explained the Gospel there on the street corner it seemed like it was entirely new to him? With that in mind I pointed out my phone number on the literature I gave him, asking him to call me after he read it to tell me what he thought of it, but in light of my need for a mid-course correction I went a step further – I asked if he would like me to call him in a week. In the past I have avoided offering to do this, wanting people to realize they need to take some initiative themselves, and being afraid that I will forget to follow through or that I will be perceived as a creepy religious stalker. Michael seemed very confident that he would call me back, and I hope he does, so I didn't press the issue. But I think this may be part of the “mid-course correction” I need to make.