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> Ten Words to help you breakout
Ten Words to help you breakout
When someone first comes to faith they can’t stop talking about Jesus. But after a while they can get out of the habit and retreat into a Christian ghetto. Here are ten words to encourage you to breakout.
– Someone gets into a new relationship, discovers an amazing product, or has just given up smoking. They just can’t stop talking about it. They have had a significant encounter. For Christians this encounter is with Jesus, the King of Kings, the Father of all. That encounter is not only life changing, but is life giving. We can’t share what we don’t have.
– Once you have had the encounter if you are convinced that the product works than you are very willing to tell others. In a non-believing world, faith can seem like an impossible sell. But our starting point is “does it work?” If we are convinced then we will not mind sharing the God through whom all things are possible. Where do you need convincing?
– Today story is often more important to people than the “truth” or a well reasoned argument (although those are still important). You have a story to tell and a story that other people need to hear. Not as a well-rehearsed script but as an authentic story that is spoken into a conversation. Get comfortable with telling your story about Jesus.
– Real is the order of the day even in an internet connected world. Real means realationships (yes I know it’s spelt wrong) where people go beyond the formal and listen to each other’s stories. It’s a great life skill to practice, listening to others as well as sharing your story with them. It is only by listening that we will know what to say.
– When we start to really listen to other people the chances are we will not like some of what we hear. Jesus models for us a gracious acceptance of people. When Jesus is offended by something he moves into the neighbourhood and becomes light in the darkness. When was the last time someone offended you and you stuck with them being the transforming light of Christ?
– We have a role as witnesses and evangelists. But it’s not our job to convert people. That is the work of the Holy Spirit and he uses us in the process. If we listen to him he will prompt us with the right words, actions or ways of being that will move people on in the walk towards God. What was the last thing God prompted you with? Maybe it’s time to get listening.
– Your having a party, what do you do? You invite everyone and some of them say yes. Infact as a church you are really good at this. When asked why people came to this church recently, the top answer was the welcome and the joint third answer was because they had been invited. So next time someone says, “what did you do at the weekend?” Tell them about this great church you go to where the welcome is wonderful and invite them to come along. A simple invite to the party could change a life.
– “10,000 steps. Roughly, that's the distance you travel from sunrise to sunset…. Are you using your steps wisely?” Bill Hybels. There are people all around you, just across the room who could do with meeting you. Are you willing to take a few short steps to meet someone new to open a conversation that could lead to new life?
– most of the time our job is to move people a minute round the clock face. Imagine each person has 12 hours before they meet Jesus at midday and 12 hours afterwards. We get to join in with the Holy Spirit and move people a minute or an hour closer to Jesus. But at other times if we listen we will have the privilege of challenging people that it’s time to start following. Often it’s a simple question, “would you like to follow Jesus?” or “so you have asked a lot of questions, what’s stopping you from saying yes?” This is not for everyone, but listen out, it could be you.
– Love God, love one another, love yourself and love your neighbour. This is class 101 and the masters degree of the Christian faith. Loving people as God has loved us. Try just loving the person in front of you, the very next person you meet. In every word, in every challenge, in every relationship, let there be love.
Mark Searle, 20/10/2011
St Mary Magdalene Church, Union Street,Torquay,
Devon, TQ1 4BX