The Sacrament of Evangelism: We're Missing Out
- Tuesday, April 26, 2011
How sad life would be if we never noticed the glories of the sky. How regrettable never to notice the hues created by the setting sun: the pinks and oranges, the salmons and peach, the apricot and shrimp all painted against a baby-blue canvas dancing with color at the end of the day. How heartbreaking to have breathed day in and day out on this marvelous planet, whose delicate balances are themselves a gift, and to have missed seeing the moon as it faithfully traces its way across the heavens. And who could adequately describe the diamond likeness of stars twinkling over a desert sky on a clear autumn evening looking like gems gleaming in the roof of an otherwise dark, cavernous universe? Who can grasp the wonder of comets and shooting stars and galaxies? Our lives seem charged with astonishment when we encounter the northern lights—the black firmament coruscating and pulsating in colors of red, blue, and green.
The Scriptures say the heavens declare the glory of God, but many of His works—always present with us—are missed simply because our eyes are closed. Yet He is ever present and ministering grace to us. Even when His creatures rebel, He causes the sun to rise every morning and the stars to adorn the cloudless night skies.The Bible reminds us that the earth shows God’s handiwork. An eye rightly trained cannot help but notice the curling and breaking of a wave onto the beach, the pause midflight of a hummingbird seeming to defy gravity as it draws nectar from a petunia. In fact, the petal of the flower itself—with its subtle, velvety texture and aroma—is glorious. The laughter of a child at Christmas; the soaring of the eagle on high thermal drafts; the fresh, falling snow that clothes the trees after their leaves have been stripped by blustery autumn winds; here too are glories, signs pointing to God’s eternal power and divine nature.
There are other works of God in the world, and these too declare His glory. These are works not of creation but of re-creation. God is at work wooing people to Himself. Tragically, judging by our sluggish growth rates, too few churches in America are putting themselves in a place where they can see—and participate in—the work of God in the world. Yet God is too big for His purposes to be thwarted by our inactivity. He can use anyone and He certainly doesn’t need us. But we will miss out on the wonder of participating with Him in His workplace.
One day a board member of a certain church invited the pastor to visit his manufacturing plant. The two men knew each other fairly well, but only in church contexts. So the pastor went, not sure what he would see. Once he got there, he saw the board member, whom he considered a solid Christian, in a whole new light. The pastor first of all was amazed at his friend’s company, which he had built from scratch. He employed a sizable workforce. The design of the product reflected real genius.
During the visit, employees at the factory came up to their boss and asked complex work questions. The board member answered each one with care and insight. He knew all of his factory workers by name, often pausing to ask questions about the welfare of their children, aging parents, or how the worker’s team was doing in the local bowling league. The pastor said he had no clue how kind and brilliant his friend was until he spent that day with him. Then the pastor observed: “I thought I knew my friend because I knew him at church; but I never really knew him until I got to know him in his workplace.”
This book will encourage you to get to know God in His workplace, to develop a sense of awe while watching firsthand as He woos people to Himself. Few activities give a sense of meaning and purpose more clearly than the privilege of leading another human being to faith in Christ and discipling that person to lead others to Christ as well.
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