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Great Expectations

Last week at lifegroup, we challenged ourselves to be more bold. This week, we all wanted, of course, to forget that we had prayed about that and to just keep on plowing through Acts. I mean, it’s all about getting more Bible facts in our brains, right?


Sadly reminded that the Bible tells us not to be like people who look in mirror and then forget our appearance when we turn away, we went for it. We went around the room to tell what happened. All I gotta say was that it was AWESOME!!!! I’ll mention no names to protect the innocent, but here are the stories:
One guy teamed up with another Christian at work to start having lunch with this particularly troubled person no one wants anything to do with. When they raised the idea of getting together with this person to a couple of other non-Christian colleagues, it’s caused all kinds of discussions to break out.

One gal told of a young couple who are sort of distant relatives by marriage with whom she’s had some recent conversations. The young woman just told her that her boyfriend is moving and has asked her to move in with him in the new location. The way she mentioned this, it was almost like the young girl is inviting a conversation on the topic. So, doors are opening.

One guy had a conversation with a neighbor. As soon as anything about church was mentioned, the neighbor clammed up. So, we kicked around ideas for helping jump start the conversation again.

One gal is moving toward getting into a crafting club to meet people to start conversations.

One guy noted that his neighbors, who have been separated on and off for years are back together. He is determined to strike up a conversation with them this week.

One gal, who was an avowed atheist before accepting Jesus, has singled out a close friend who is still an atheist, to reach out to boldly.
Some points worth noting. Doing this together was incredibly encouraging. The people in the room are just like me–just people living life, working, eating, sleeping. . . got the same pressures I do. There was this “we’re all in this thing together” feel to the room. I left feeling like I could do this, I could persevere, these guys have my back.

I also found the accountability rewarding. To have people who know you and love you anyway holding you accountable feels a whole lot different than having it done by some impersonal “boss type.” It was a lot of fun.

Finally, it was incredibly helpful. As we shared, others threw out ideas that might work, things that might be said to break through the barriers. And the real benefit was that these comments came often from people with backgrounds similar to those some of us were trying to reach. They had insights into how those people think and how they would respond that I did not.

In the end, I left more equipped for the task this week, feeling like I was part of something much bigger than me, and encouraged that I was not in this alone.

If you’re not in a lifegroup, all I can tell you is that you are missing out big time. Now, I know it’s possible that you are just growing and growing, and starting conversations with the unchurched, and leading people to Jesus all the time. But I know it’s more likely that you aren’t.

We’re gonna be talking about what it means to be on Jesus’ team on Sunday at McLean. Team certainly implies connecting. Why not check out the lifegroups, make the time, and be there.

Oh, and you can study up on Jesus’ team in Matthew 10 if you want a leg up for Sunday.

 

Dwaine Darrah, McLean Campus Pastor

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2 Responses to “Great Expectations”

  1. I know that there is nothing more important than being in a healed and forgiven relationship with Jesus, but, just loving people without an agenda is pretty important too – right?

  2. great question. let me stab at it this way. i'll argue in favor of an agenda, but i understand where you're coming from. because "agenda" often connotes that we're just interested in manipulating people, or that we see them as projects. and in that sense, i couldn't agree more with you that we sometimes come across as interested only in people to jack up church attendance or as notches on our spiritual six-gun. that said, i do think that as christians we often lack an appropriate "agenda" with the unchurched that leads us to interact with them with zero drive to connect them with Jesus. that can lead to great social gospel stuff, where we're feeding the hungry actual bread, but failing to offer them spiritual sustenance. So, let me split the difference with ya, if i may. i think we ought to be driven to love people not as projects or goals but just because Jesus first loved us. As that love plays out, we should want only the best for those folk, and that includes, most importantly, connecting them with Jesus somehow. That's the overriding agenda–to be interested in their eternal destiny and the most fulfilling life right here and now. And, if that love from us to them is Christ's love for them, then it is neverending. which means that we don't stop loving on them just because they appear to be rejecting Jesus. if that's what we do, then they were nothing more than a project for us. here's a test. who are we right now loving on who has absolutely rejected every approach we've made on a spiritual level? if no one comes to mind, we've probably been looking at people as projects and have loved them not as Jesus does. i'll stop now before i convict myself into oblivion. hehe. lemme know if this made sense. . .


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