Wednesday, 28 May 2008

At the Name of Jesus?

Sometimes working in the church is extremely difficult and there are no thanks or encouragement. You are expected to produce results on virtually no budget at all and you are often expected to do it all on your own and then you find a letter in your in box a week or two later highlighting some of the areas that people could find fault with. The following is an extract of a letter like this:

"Thank you for your long email where you shared about friends and family. Friends are necessary in your life, but what about the One who should be your best friend - Jesus? At the Friendship tea there was no mention of Him - it was just a secular message. At the Ladies meeting, we heard all about the 'outside' beauty, but almost nothing about inner beauty and how to improve that. I`m afraid I (and many others) were very disappointed that the opportunity to share the message of salvation and subsequent friendship with Jesus, was not used. At both meetings there were many outsiders present - it was an outreach opportunity. What makes the difference between a secular meeting e.g. Round Table, and a Christian meeting? Surely the message of salvation and the outworking thereof in our daily lives. Surely our expectations were not too high? The Church needs to declare its message loud and clear. Where else are people going to hear it? You were a Christian worker in OM. Please don`t be persuaded to be anything less, but use every opportunity to witness for Jesus to believers and non-believers.

Because I class myself a friend of yours, I felt led to share with you my disappointed reaction to these meetings. It was a pity that you missed the sermon this morning when Terry challenged our commitment to knowing Jesus personally."

This was quite a letter to receive as all those involved are passionate about letting people know about Jesus. The intention was to bring people from across generations to a meeting where people could see Jesus at work through the lives of individuals. It was a place you could bring a friend and use the evening as a conversation starter to introduce them to Jesus or you could have met someone who was not at all familiar with Jesus and spoken to them about the person who makes a radical difference in the way you think speak and relate to others and the world around you.

It is quite ironic though many of the people who attended the above meeting also attended a missions meeting a week or so later and we heard first hand form a man working in India among the Dalits in India how after spending three days teaching a group of Indian women on such topic as "women's rights" and hygiene. Also taking the time to look after their children they received the most astonishing request. The whole group of women, approximately 200 wanted to be introduced to Jesus and follow him. Not a word of the Gospel in the two days was spoken. I find this to be truly amazing. Can we not learn from this?

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