I’m still feeling the challenge from this past Sunday’s Sunday School lesson at Crestview. We’re working through BILD International’s Participating in the Mission of the Church. We’ve talked about the New Testament strategy and how good works relate to that. We got into a lesson that dealt with this passage:
 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.  At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.  Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.  Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:2-6)
So, what do we make of this? A few thoughts…
- Thankful prayer – interesting isn’t it? Paul invites these believers to join his work of Gospel advance by praying prayers (continually with perseverance) of thanksgiving. Yes, they pray that doors are opened for the Gospel mystery. Paul wants them to pray that his speech would be clear. But, thankful prayer, that doesn’t seem too dynamic. Paul placed an emphasis on this, though.
- We’re called to walk with outsiders. Church people have a hard time doing this. We’re great, good friends with people who see the world, vote (by and large), and enjoy the things we enjoy. This isn’t bad. After all, the church is meant to be a compelling community to the world. But, we need to walk with outsiders in life. This is Gospel 101.
- We walk with wisdom. We’re not free styling. There’s a degree of intentionality with this walk we have with those outside. We’re walking in ways that make the compelling storyline of Christianity attractive to the watching world. This takes wisdom.
- Making the best use of the time. The time/opportunity given to us is the time we have with others. We get to drink coffee, work, be involved in kids sports, eat, drop off/pick up our kids with all kinds of people that we individually have an opportunity to walk in wisdom with, drawing them close with our attractive, gracious speech, enticing them to ask questions.
What would happen if we gave ourselves to thankful prayer, walking with outsiders, in wisdom, realizing that God’s given us this opportunity for Gospel witness? It might be that “sharing our faith” might not be such an elusive thing. So, let me encourage you to get walking and see what fruit God might give.