Thursday, September 2, 2010
Every few weeks I get to visit the local Staples to pick up ink, paper, and a few other odds and ends for the ministry here at New Beginnings. I'm actually really glad that I get the opportunity to shoot out of the office multiple times each week to run errands throughout the community. How else am I supposed to build relationships with folks who need the gospel of Jesus? As Ecclesiastes 3 tells us..."For everything there is a season, a time for every matter under heaven"... a time for study and a time for office supply shopping...
Over the past year I have had the privilege of talking with one of the sales reps whose name is Jack. Jack is probably in his mid-to-early twenties. He is a friendly and helpful chap who is usually there about 80% of the time that I shop at Staples. We've moved from the standard "Hi, how are you?", to more substantive chatter during our semi-regular visits.
Lately, I've even started to get a deeper sense of Jack's life goals and struggles. (I hope no one from Staples is reading my blog, but I get the feeling that Jack isn't necessarily fulfilling his lifelong dreams as a sales associate at Staples.) Jack has started to share more about his hopes of going into either law enforcement or photography (yeah, I know that is an interesting pair of options). He just recently started back to school. Sometimes it even seems like Jack is on the verge of really opening up about some important things in his life.
Jack knows a little bit about who I am and my "work" as a pastor and church planter. I've invited him (unsuccessfully to this point) to several special events and young adult group meetings. Still, I have a clear sense that God is leading me to keep building a relationship with Jack. Only God knows what, if anything, these conversations will lead to in Jack's life.
Following Christ into the world is not an activity, it is a way of life. When we begin to view all the routine things of life as divine opportunities, then the amount of time we have "for evangelism" dramatically increases. Believe it or not, we are called to be Christians even when we aren't at church. We are to be Christ to our children in our homes. We are called to be Christ to our co-workers. We are called to be Christ even to our neighbors. What do people notice when they see us out and about town? Is there anything that sets us apart from the rest of the world?
Is there anyone in your set of "routines" who God is calling you to love and share with them the gospel? Pray for the Lord to give you spiritual eyes to see how and where you can make a practical difference each and every day.