I've been reading a book called Becoming A Contagious Christian. My husband is reading it too. We are watching the DVD, reading the sermon notes, checking out the leaders guide.... the whole shebang.
We have been asked to lead a retreat by this name. Gasp, choke, chuckle.... I get it.
Mostly, I feel fear. Hopefully the hubby is feeling awesome.
When we are done reading this material we will be no closer to "Becoming A Contagious Christian" than before we touched the first page.
Maybe that's where the fear comes from.
I imagine when people hear the term contagious christian they might want to run the other way, hide, run for the hills. It sounds weird. We are taught to stay away from people who are contagious, right?
Well, I've been thinking about these things and wonder if people look at me like I'm a little weird... because of this Jesus guy I follow.
Last week I invited someone to church, through a phone message. What a bogus invite, right? I wanted it to be friendly... can't you hear my tone through that message?!
I wanted them to know I wasn't being pushy. No idea how I expected them to know this.
The response was something like this.... I respect your faith and opinions. We are Christians and don't need to go to church and don't need to go to yours. I hope you respect our opinion too.
I responded that first and foremost I respected their opinions.
I think we get stuck in the mud real fast when we don't respect others opinion and back off.
I am glad this person was honest with me. That's where the relationship starts and who knows where we will end up.
The reality of becoming a contagious christian and sharing your faith with anyone, family included... is building relationships. Like that saying, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."
I ask myself questions...
How can I lead people to Christ when I can't even get a believer to attend church with me?
Am I smart enough? Am I good enough? Am I tough enough? (include Mick Jagger's voice here)
Do I have all the answers? The list is long.
But... I know the truth.
The answers to those questions are NO... I am not enough, but Christ is.
The I read this writing by
Sam Shoemaker, an Episcopal Priest.
I stand by the door.
I neither go to far in, nor stay to far out.
The door is the most important door in the world -
It is the door through which men walk when they find God.
There is no use my going way inside and staying there,
When so many are still outside and they, as much as I,
Crave to know where the door is.
And all that so many ever find
Is only the wall where the door ought to be.
They creep along the wall like blind men,
With outstretched, groping hands,
Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door,
Yet they never find it.
So I stand by the door.
The most tremendous thing in the world
Is for men to find that door - the door to God.
The most important thing that any man can do
Is to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands
And put it on the latch - the latch that only clicks
And opens to the man's own touch.
Men die outside the door, as starving beggars die
On cold nights in cruel cities in the dead of winter.
Die for want of what is within their grasp.
They live on the other side of it - live because they have not found it.
Nothing else matters compared to helping them find it,
And open it, and walk in, and find Him.
So I stand by the door.
So there is my answer. I am to stand at the door.
I am a vessel, an opportunity, a servant of the Most High God.
I am at His service and oh, how richly blessed I am... to be His witness.
If God can use me, out of all His devoted servants, than there is hope for all of us my friends.
There is something He has been asking you to do.
Go, stand by that door and wait.
Be His witness.