Friday, February 13, 2009

Frightened and Encouraged!

As Christians, I think most of us would agree that evangelism is a key ingredient of our walk. My husband and I have begun a Bible study group in our home and have about 8 co-leaders from our church, and 4 visitors attending the first one this coming Thursday.

I'm frightened.

I am unconventional and even undecided in many areas of scripture where others (most!) are soundly convicted. I'm more likely to say, "I don't know!" than "Let me show you!" Granted I will dig until I find something - but I am also more apt to present the options than the answers.

However, I am convinced that God can still use me.

What has been on my mind is an on-going conversation with God. I want to reach the lost. There are many I have fallen in love with that I cannot imagine a future without faith for them! But this conversation with God kept leading me to Christians outside of fellowship. Believers who have run away from hurt, felt pressed for commitments they were unable to provide, those that studied with people more concerned with church membership and proper indoctrination than reconciliation with the Father... Hopefully you understand my meaning. They have no other Christians in their life, and some would rather keep it that way. One thing I am fully convinced of in scripture is that we need one another - and we need to need one another. It keeps us humble, vulnerable and soft-hearted.

So I was overjoyed, with no personal influence whatsoever, the group actually discussed this! I come from a church rather notorious for being more concerned about membership conversions (strict adherence to our doctrine) than leading the lost to a simple faith. We came to quick, unanimous decision that this group was not about membership - but souls and having a genuine love for them.

Then, the group selected a 6 week study on the book of James. How awesome is that? I had been leaning toward a longer term study in John. It suddenly occurred to me, that although James has a lot about living out faith, it has much to do with the connections and relationships in the Body! I am not usually a quiet one in groups, so my silent, beaming smile during our planning meeting must have been unsettling. I am so encouraged!

Please, if you have a moment to do so, pray that this group allows God to lead us and lives are transformed to faith - or stronger faith when needed.