Six people attended the second session of In the Deep End on Monday evening 18 February at one2one Gillies Street Church of Christ. Four others tendered their apologies.
For three it was the first time they had attended so I invited them to share their stories about how they became associated with the one2one congregation.
Their experiences highlighted the importance of extending an invitation to people to consider attending church, join a Bible study group or participate in a course on Christianity.
I had invited one of the three to attend the evening specifically to share his story. As he did so he acknowledging the wonderful changes that have occurred in his life since he first attended a Christmas Eve service at one2one in 2011. His first time attendance was in response to a personal invitation that came very naturally from someone who cared.
There were two other aspects that were highlighted during the evening.
Firstly, while not excluding others, we have an amazing opportunity to attend to the people who come along and start worshiping at one2one. People turn up for all sorts of reasons to worship at one2one. As far back as I can remember, and that’s quite a few, there has been a steady stream people dropping in. This was most recently demonstrated with the Welcome2Church services on Sunday 17 March where about 30 new folk attended in the morning and a further 20 attended the evening service.
God has placed before us an open door before us or in the words of Jesus, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Secondly, we noted the importance of building a bridge that can be easily crossed to discuss the Christian faith, that is equipping ourselves for this personal work, sharing our faith one-to-one, and leading the way for people to discover faith in Jesus. What a God-given privilege!
With these two things in mind we discussed the Share Jesus Easily material emphasising how we could cross the bridge by knowing what to say e.g. “Could I run something past you? Has anyone sat down with you and explained from the Bible how you can know God personally? I would count it a privilege to be able to explain, can we arrange a time to meet?”
I have asked the question, “Has anyone ever sat down with you and explained from the Bible how you can Know God personally” on several occasions in recent months and while not unexpected the usual reply was, “No.” The ensuing question then led to arranging a time to share the good news of Jesus, again in accordance with the Share Jesus Easily material.
On one occasion, after a little thought, the person recalled where and when they had made, on their own, a faith transaction with God. I was then able to proceed by saying, “I would count it a privilege to arrange a time to meet so that we could CONFIRM your faith decision.”
Toward the end of our evening together one member of the group recalled from his recent reading of Individual Work for Individuals the following words by the author, H. Clay Trumbull (1901),
” When God brings us alongside of one whom we may help, or may feel responsibility for, we are not to consider the obstacles, or difficulties, in the way. God will take care of them. Nor are we to be hindered by religious or denominational differences that seem to stand between us and him. The question is not whether he is a Roman catholic, or a Jew, a Muhammadan, a Mormon, a Maronite, or an infidel. But the one question is, Can we evidence him, in such a way as to impress on him, and to deepen his sense of their preciousness, the surpassing love of God and the blessed fullness of the spirit of Christ?”
The date of the next In the Deep End session is Monday 18 March, 7.15 pm in the Function Room. Can I encourage you to lock the date into your diary now? Also the Share Jesus Easily blog is coming along with additional material being added each week.
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