One of the great things about mission week is the way it takes you so far out of your familiar college routines. Where once you would have whiled away long hours in cafes with Campos beverages, Bibles, laptops and friends, now you find yourself…oh.
But all for a good cause: six of us had been tasked with running a ‘missional living’ training event for some of one1seven’s core members. Our goal: to encourage them to more courageously and intentionally share Jesus at work, in their families, and with their friends; and to start overcoming the obstacles of “I don’t know any non-Christians!”, “I don’t know my Bible well enough!”, and “I don’t want to offend people!” As we leafed through the Scriptures and shared our own experiences, we found ourselves convicted afresh that the fields are ripe for harvest (John 4:35); that the gospel is gloriously offensive (1 Cor 1:23); and that the Spirit’s power vastly outshines our attempts at wise or persuasive words to convey it (1 Cor 2:4). Fast-forward to the evening (because whoever said blogs needed to run in chronological order) and it was a joy to engage in these truths with our brothers and sisters and to witness their lightbulb moments: one lady expressed a fresh resolve not to unwittingly ‘distort the word of God’ (2 Cor 4:2) by affirming her best friend’s worldly perspectives on suffering, but rather, in love, to ‘set forth the truth plainly’. Praise God for His living and active word!
In between: prayer walks! An easy exercise (pun semi-intended) with profound significance, not least for the one1seven team who spent a large part of their early ministry simply walking the streets, laneways and public spaces of the parish: watching, noticing and interceding for the people and activities around them. Prayers were answered: God gave ideas, conversations, connections. Where could you walk? How could you pray?
Next up: Scripture, Anglicare Winter Appeal, Q&A night.
Please pray that we will continue to live out the beautiful tension of holding ‘treasure in jars of clay’, preaching not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord.