Yesterday I had the opportunity to preach at Presbyterian Church of the Way (PCOTW). They are the closest Presbyterian Church immediately south of Chain of Lakes. Their pastor, Todd Allen, and the leadership at PCOTW have been very supportive of our newly forming congregation. They let me live in their Parish House for almost four months as my family prepared to sell our house in Rochester. Yesterday they dedicated some worship furnishings that they are giving to our congregation when we start worship.
I was especially touched that nine folks from Chain of Lakes joined me at the 11:00 a.m. service.
Because so much of my work as a New Church Development involves Evangelism I decided to preach a sermon on Evangelism. In particular I encouraged everyone to have a conversation about God this week with an unchurched person. The entire sermon can be found here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/21304701/Sermon-Church-of-the-Way-October-18-2009
As I shared in my sermon I think we’ve been conditioned to think that the unchurched don’t like God or are turned off by church. I don’t think that is the case at all. I’ve found the unchurched to be some of the most spiritual people that I’ve met. I know that God is working in their lives. Sometimes the unchurched are just waiting to have a conversation about God. I don’t think there are waiting for someone to be confrontational or offensive to them in the name of God. But I’m absolutely convinced that they are willing to talk to someone who models God’s love in front of them—someone who will display the fruits of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Someone who is a Christian who will say, “I really care about you as a person.” I think our approach is everything.
Imagine what would happen if everyone in our congregation looked for opportunities to talk about God with people. I’m not talking about being confrontational or offensive or insulting. I’m talking about approaching people with the attitude of the fruits of the Spirit—love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, & self-control.
This week I’m going to be especially aware of opportunities to talk about God with others. I don’t know what will happen, but I’m going to trust God that some wonderful experiences will take place.