For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. – 1 Corinthians 3
I have a new Sales Director working for me, Vincent. He is exceptionally talented, not like the Sales Director most would imagine. A natural leader, he warmly and softly encourages people to accomplish their very best, and firmly gets the stragglers to rise to the occasion. A joy to behold for both me and our clients, Vincent gets outstanding performance.
Recently we were talking about a client, and Vincent and I joked about ‘ABS.’ You see, the client had set themselves up to sell with every tool imaginable; technology, platforms, processes, methods, job descriptions and on it went. But nobody was actually doing any ‘selling.’ All bar the selling, all they need is someone to remove the excuses. The relevance?
Last weekend we went out on the streets, a small group of us and we had such a time. We prayed before we went, and God led people up to us; an American aetheist couple who stumbled over some of their answers to our questions (but we gave them a warm hug anyway); a Jewish man who talked openly about persecution and the coming Messiah; a Colombian couple, who welcomed our prayers over their children and whom we left with the encouragement to discover Jesus in their Bible reading.
Finally, we met Darlin and Sam. A young couple who hooked up while they were travelling, Darlin revealed to us that her mum is a believer, and she once was, but has since wandered. Darlin was deeply distressed with work here, and was overwhelmed with tears as we talked and prayed in to her life. Meanwhile, I brushed up some rusty French with Sam her travelling companion. We hope to meet up with them again this weekend or in the next few, and continue on the God conversation.
It’s been a while since we’ve been on the streets, which is why I haven’t often had much to write about. There is this unsaid agreement, the more I go out, the more God puts on my heart to write about. One of those with us, was so animated at our short encounters, he admonished us that we need to get out ‘all the time.’ I couldn’t agree more. Which brings me nicely to what I have had on my heart all week.
It never ceases to amaze me how “the church” embraces the ‘All bar the Selling’ concept so readily. Take for example, the simple task of Disciple Making. Such a simple idea commanded by Jesus, I have been slightly amazed at the plethora of entities, books, resources, methods and gatherings based around this ‘new’ concept. We know more than a few who flit between one training and the next, discussing which is the right way, or the right teacher to follow. Then there are the cottage industries that have sprung up, which seem to me more about cashing in on this new idea. Really?
I am often told I overemphasise “going out on the streets” but I am not unduly concerned, after all look at who it affects. Firstly, sharing your faith with another pleases Christ Jesus immensely. We sense his pleasure when we are obedient to his calling. Secondly, those we meet are often visibly transformed by the words, Scriptures and prayers we speak into their lives. Some, just a few, respond to that call to follow him – the Holy Spirit has something to grasp hold of in their lives. Lastly, we feel unbelievably fulfilled in doing the work of the Lord, it defies description. Sometimes we feel like skipping home after an afternoon of meeting and talking with people.
I know there are different ways to define the streets, but most know what is meant. The example of Jesus is undeniably of a man who was in the marketplace more often than he was in church.
Let me leave you with a challenge. Of late we have come across numerous people who casually mentioned that the JWs had been there before us, which has me worried. So few of us, so many of them who are active. Will you leave your neighbour to the mercy of a false gospel?
Isn’t it time all of us accepted that we already have the tools and the mandate, to pray and cross the street and begin to lay the foundation of Jesus Christ into another’s life. No more excuses, let’s get on with the business in hand.