Wednesday, July 24, 2013

HELPING FRED TO DISCOVER TRUE LIFE that is only found in Jesus

Fred (not his real name) attended a house church but just didn't 'get it'. He showed absolutely no response to stories of answered prayer, Bible DVDs, prayers or Bible studies. Over recent months I have been sensing that for me, my focus must become missional and Fred is in my sights. No, I'm not thinking of getting him to an evangelistic meeting so he can put up his hand and pray the sinner's prayer. Nor am I looking for an opportunity to 'ambush' him in order to exert guilt-pressure so that I can push him into making a 'decision for Christ' or, 'asking Jesus to come into his heart'. I have little faith in this un-Biblical carry-on that can do more harm than good. John Wesley knew what true conversion involved. Writing about the gifted founder of Methodism, Wyn Fountain says, "...John Wesley did not preach to the thousands expecting immediate decisions. Instead he preached to get their attention. Once he had it, he enlisted people into small groups which he organised all over the country where they were instructed properly as to what the gospel was all about. Only when they had a sound understanding were they asked to make their decision."

 So, what am I supposed to do to bring light to Fred's life? Any suggestions? (Yes, I mean it!)

 What I am doing is the following....

  • Praying specifically for Fred knowing that only God can switch on the light.
  • Getting the help of others. The last thing I want is for Fred to be my convert. Two or three friends have been having a Sunday breakfast with Fred at the local pub. (He doesn't know it's church!)
  • Sharing with him testimony-type books.
  • Being committed to a no-strings-attached friendship - whether or not Fred becomes a follower of Jesus.
  • Being a genuine listener and an encourager in response to Fred's painful stories.
Many prophets/leaders in the world of simple/organic churches have warned this movement of the paralyzing and deadly disease of 'koinonitus'. Among the symptoms we need to be look out for are...enjoying fellowship with our special group with little or no thought for the lost people all around us. But how do we know if we are already infected? Simply checking the amount of time we think about and pray for the lost people we regularly relate to. And, how about our neighbours? Are we doing anything to 'connect' with them. Baking? Painting? Baby-sitting? Coffee-ing? Hospitality-ing? It's not only children who spell love t.i.m.e. And, money? What do your cheque book/bank card statements tell you about the amount of money you invest in reaching lost people?

 Thanks for your feedback. I DO look forward to it.  

Craig Kirkby's informative teaching on simple church, kingdom-shaped gatherings are still available. Three DVDs. Order from TVM Studios. Tel. 06)3680663.





1 comment:

  1. Hello Jack. I'm the editor of the OIKOS Australia simplechurch magazine and I am wondering if I can reprint the above post. It will be unedited and I'll add some blurb about your site, which is very interesting. I'll also send you a PDF of the finished magazine. I'm also happy to use either JackG or your full name. Bless you, Phil Walters