Discussing being salt and light at our cell group meeting last night got me to thinking that if the thing that flavours us (the salt) is the Holy Spirit in our relationship with Jesus, then a fundamental way that Christians can encounter God is through the relationships they have with Christians. It also got me to thinking about how people come to faith, and young people in particular.Can you remember how you came to faith? Trust me, my experience was not “normal” (but who’s is?) and actually I wasn’t led to God by others, God and I kind of came together one evening, but that is another post for another day.
American church leader Jay Pathak talks of his leading to faith. He was invited to a “party” with “gorgeous chicks” (for party read church youth group evangelistic meeting). During the service he went forward receive a Bible (a pile of which was on the stage) and was told, “come to McDonalds later and I’ll give you one”. Begrudginly he agreed and came out of McDonalds an hour later having spent the time arguing with the youth worker (who apparantly went home later almost giving up on his own faith) over scripture and its roots. Jay finally met with God in his bedroom when his heart was broken and he encountered the Holy Spirit. Having heard Jay’s story, it seems God worked in him in spite of the youth worker who by the sounds of it did all he could to stand as a blockage between him and God.
There is a cheesy saying that goes “Jesus said” go into all the world and preach the Gospel” and along came the church”. The question is are we a people who beckon people to Jesus, or do we stand in the way?
I beleive that the inconvenient truth of mission is that large scale events whilst impressive, do little to further the Kingdom when compared to work on a small scale, individual, relational level. The Spirit moves in large scale gatherings, of course he does, but the majority of people will encounter God through relationship with Christians. That means when you hear people say “there is no plan b” they are right. We are God’s hands and feet on the earth now.
Building relatioship with young people is key and in my next post, I’ll explore that a little more, sufficed to say that I know youth workers of both kinds mentioned above. In the mean time join me in spending time praying over your youth ministry and its programme. Ask God to show you where He is having to work in spite of you, and ask Him to show you more opportunities to beckin young people to Him.