I recently went door to door helping others hear about Jesus. I grew up in a tradition that placed this as one of the highest of Christian virtues, but for the past few years had neglected this practice for a variety of reasons. I know all the criticisms of this: people won’t listen, this is outdated, you’re wasting your time, relationships should be the priority. But, I went (thanks to the prodding of a good friend). Here’s a few things I learned:
- There are people who will listen. I just went to one city block and spent an hour and a half. While there were many who didn’t want any part of what we were about, there were four people who listened, gave us an opportunity to pray for/with them, and invested their time. That was encouraging.
- All people in my town don’t go to church. It seems shocking because so much of the culture of where I live is rooted in hard-working, moralistic, and doing good to one another. But, there were people who didn’t have any connection to church and, in deeper ways, didn’t know much of the life that could be there’s because of Jesus.
- This practice helped fire my prayer and my worship. My desperation for God to work and be with me increased. My love for God in the Sunday morning gathering was affected. The air was crisper, the fellowship deeper, the singing more glorious, all because I took and opportunity to share what God’s done in my life.
- This exercise encouraged people in my body. I got comments like “that’s inspiring” and “can you teach me how to do this.” It was a reminder that local church practices of leadership engage others. How I live matters in the life of the people God’s entrusted to me. In fact, God’s wired it to work that way. Pastors who are just pastors in name only are not only not living up to their calling, but they’re failing to give people direction for living. I recognize my weakness to live what I believe before and with the people now more than ever.
So, I know this may create more questions than it provides answers. If you’re wondering what I shared it was simply this: the good news for all the world is that even though we’ve messed everything up (and continue to), God has remedied the mess of this world by sending His Son to live the perfect life we can’t, die in the place of sinners, rise so that they can be right with Him, and live. Now, by banking all of our hopes and dreams in Jesus, we can really live and glorify God with our lives. I hope this short post encourages you to engage your faith for the good of others.