I was listening to a Christian radio station when a woman phoned in to share what she considered an exciting spiritual experience. She had driven into a gas station with Christian music flowing from her radio and through the car’s open windows. Another woman, also getting gas, commented on the song playing, then mentioned missing church and wondering if she should find and attend an area church. The first woman thought that was a good idea, said “God bless you,” finished filling her tank . . . and drove off.
Back to the on-air testimony. This woman was excited for the contact and hopeful that God would work on the person she had met. That was it.
Please think with me through this.
This woman made a contact. She connected with another person. She recognized a spiritual need. She heard the second woman acknowledge her need and open the door to talking about it.
Then she drove off without taking any direct action to meet that spiritual need!
She could have asked if the second woman knew Christ – SHE DIDN'T.
She could have asked why the second woman stopped going to church – SHE DIDN'T.
She could have recommended some churches in her area – SHE DIDN'T.
She could have invited the second woman to attend her church – SHE DIDN'T.
She could have exchanged contact information for personal follow-up – SHE DIDN'T.
What upsets me about this story is how much it seems to represent the church as a whole these days. We see, or at least know about, so much spiritual need around the world. But we don’t do anything to directly meet that spiritual need.
I have talked to too many Christians who explain that God did not call them to be preachers, or evangelists, or counselors. Their responsibility (or so they say) is to live good lives and assume that others will see and that God, Himself, will then intervene to bring people to Himself or to solve their problems.
That is a spiritually comfortable philosophy of non-involvement.
It is also against everything we read in the Bible.
The Bible tells us that all who follow Christ should follow all His teachings. This would include His words in Matthew 28:19 “Go into all the world and make disciples among all nations. . .” and Acts 1:9, “You will be my witnesses . . .”
If we are to follow His teachings and His example, we would do well to pay attention to Luke 19:10, “the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
And let’s not forget 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
Not everyone who follows Christ has the blend of spiritual gifts to be a preacher or a cross-cultural missionary or an evangelist. But every Christ-follower knows what happened to him or herself when they began their journey with the Lord. The least we can all do is, when given an open opportunity to share our own story with others, to do just that.
I enjoy baseball. My playing days are long gone, but I still enjoy watching the game. I understand how errors happen, especially when a fielder is attempting a difficult play or in a tense situation.
Sometimes – and we’ve all seen this – it's an easy play. The ball might be popped up by the batter directly toward a fielder. He knows what to do. He’s practiced this. He positions himself under the ball, waiting for it to drop into his waiting glove. It hits his glove . . . and then the ball falls to the ground. This might result in no more damage than to the fielder's personal statistics. Or it could lead to a runner on base or a run scored. It could end up as a loss for his team. Because he dropped the ball.
God gives us easy pop-ups, as he did for the woman whose story initiated these thoughts. Faced with an opportunity to bring the second woman to a higher spiritual level, she let it go. She dropped the ball.
If you have the opportunity, please don’t drop the ball.