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.

9 comments:

Kc said...

"Frightened and Encouraged!"

Sis,

I can't think of a better recipe for success. May God bless your efforts. ;-)

Missy said...

KC,

Ha! I had not thought of it that way, but yes, it is a good recipe. Thank you for the encouragement!

Celestial Fundie said...

"As Christians, I think most of us would agree that evangelism is a key ingredient of our walk."

One thing I have noticed is the Bible does not say much about personal evangelism.

Ages ago I challenged my blog readers to prove that all Christians have a duty to evangelize and nobody was able to give an absolutely clear proof (at least I did not think so).

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

Missy said...

Matthew, I think in a pinch, I could agree that it might not be a "duty." I think of it rather as a natural outpouring of the love I have for others expressed in a similar model by Jesus. Would you agree that love is a Christian duty?

And I guess it would depend on how you define "personal evagelism" to come to a determination whether "the Bible does not say much about personal evangelism."

Can you link to that post? I'd be interested in reading it.

Sanctification said...

Hi Missy,

I just want to add a comment of prayer for your group. It sounds like you're drawn to the toughies, so that was really neat to see God kind of bring that stuff up as a first thing.

My word verification says, "sent on as." So I guess that means I can fill in the blank whether my disciplemaking is aimed at the lost or the injured?

;) Michele

Kevl said...

Hi Missy,

You are wise to pursue evangelism in your walk. I agree with you it is the "key ingredient" in our walk. Prov 11:30

We've been commissioned to do evangelism. We've got God's authority and provision to do so, and He's commanded it. A study on the mission of the Church in this age will reveal that we are here to spread the Gospel.

About your weakness, the Apostle Paul one of the greatest Evangelists ever, spoke always of his weakness.

There is a section in 2 Cor that I just love and I think may encourage you.

2 Cor 2:14-17
14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.

Paul recognizes that even though his ministry was a sweet to the Lord he was not sufficient for it.

Do use care that you are not like those he references in Vs 17 though.

Blessings,
Kev

alvin said...

Hi Missy

I would say you have some strong convictions by what you agreed to here:

You also said, in the same comment:

"The living water is the knowledge that the One standing before her was "the Christ" the One who gives eternal life...

I don’t believe that someone could just believe in the Messiah and be born again without knowing it.

I believe they must believe in the Messiah as "the Christ" the One who guarantees their eternal well-being in every dispensation."

I agree.
3/25/2009 7:07 AM


The book of James is a strange book to start with unbelievers, and in fact was not written to unbelievers. The only book written to the unbeliever is the Gospel of John which was your first choice (John 20:31). So they are reading someone else's mail so I hope your leaders make clear in the beginning the freeness of the gift, that is if they really do think someone could take the gift freely with no discipleship conditions :)

brother alvin :)

alvin said...

Hi Missy, another thought:

I would have a sneaking suspicion that the reason your leaders want to start with the book of James with unbelievers is because “they don’t really believe anyone can take the living water freely.” Or, why else start with James where the salvation there is being delivered from the power of sin which is for believers?
I believe the majority of churches would never tell someone like Jesus did with the “women at the well” because they want them lock, stock, and barrel.

Challenge your leaders with this and see if they don't believe in a "contract?"

brother alvin :)

Alvin :)

Missy said...

Thanks, Alvin for your comments. Just popping in here from a WWII veterans reunion in Philadelphia! I think you're misunderstanding what I'm saying. No leaders in my church selected what we are studying. The study group itself made the selection democratically. It was definetly led by the Spirit as we are getting much out of it. All participants happen to be believers.