Past The Yellow Tape

More security concerns all around. Yesterday after class, J. tells me we’re in constant grave danger and we need to think of a solution. He’s most afraid for me, I think – he’s of the opinion that we could have lots more problems than other churches because of a foreigner’s involvement. That point I can understand. Unfortunately, we’re not doing much that we can change – that is, without completely altering what we’ve thought God has given us to do in this city.

 

For example, J. complained that the new people who come have no idea who they should and shouldn’t talk to about the church when they leave. He gave an example of riding in the elevator with a member and a first-time visitor after services one Sunday. A neighbor from the building got on the elevator, and that’s when the first-time visitor started talking about the church. Which naturally got the neighbor’s attention.

 

But what J.’s got to realize is that our biggest source of newcomers is these students running their mouths about church to each other! If we give them a cloak-and-dagger speech before they leave, we could majorly discourage that kind of behavior. Many are willing to come now because we don’t act like crazy people, we show them lots of love, and they really have a good time, even though they may not completely agree with the truth presented. I referenced a guy named L., who came to our new guys’ group last week – it was only his second time coming to our church. He got there early and stopped me to say how much he had enjoyed his last time coming, and that he felt that this was a wonderful, friendly place that really cared about him. I asked him how he had found out about our church. He said his roommate, who had only come to our church once or twice himself, had already graduated and moved out of the city to get a job elsewhere. But before he went he told L. that he should come to our church! So he is!

 

Fortunately, J. knew L. (sorry, know the letters get annoying). He agreed and said that he knew L. before he came and that he was 100 percent against religion. But when J. explained to him what kind of a church we are, how we’re different from religion, he was even more interested. When L. came that night, he spent a long time talking to my field director. I hope you’ll pray for him – I think he’s close to making a commitment to Christ.

 

Anyway, so though we want to be more careful and cautious, at the same time we have to see that God is doing amazing things through some of these bold students – and we have to be careful not to safetize him out of the plan. “Put on a seatbelt, God, or you can’t ride with us.”

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