Article By: Ralph Moore
View the original article HERE.
Yesterday I spent a little time in my garden between storms.
It’s winter in San Diego—our kind of winter, gloomy but not too cold. Most of our trees are scraggly and leafless, especially those that grow better in Hawaii than here.
We need the rain, but a series of storms can get old. Old enough that it’s easy to forget that Spring always follows winter. Blue skies and flowers are on the horizon. Somehow knowing that still doesn’t do much to make grey days brighter.
When we experience day after day clouds and rain, I think of the church operating in dark times.
Serving Under Dark Skies
The surrounding culture smacks of grey skies to me. We’ve been called cultural imperialists for imposing our values on the world. Evangelism is a no-no in most workplaces. You know the script.
Sadly a growing number of Christian leaders are begging off of evangelism.
True, it’s the Spirit’s work to draw people to Christ, but we have a role to play. Tossing in the towel doesn’t feel a lot like authentic leadership.
You may wonder if Spring or summer will ever return in terms of evangelism in a less hostile climate. If so, consider the church Paul wrote to in Rome.
The group probably numbered fewer than 100 people. Many were enslaved people, such as those of the house of Aristobulus or that of Narcissus. And they were divided in theology—some observed Torah, many did not. Plus, the surrounding culture viewed them with hostility.
Does knowing that make you feel better about our world?
We each have our own Jerusalem, Judea, etc. Mine includes neighbors who hail from the Middle East. Yours are local but spreading from the community where you gather to neighboring towns and ultimately to some distant land(s) at the end of the earth.
So, if a hundred scraggly believers meeting under grey skies politically and culturally could prevail, you can too.
Where Hassles Abound, Grace Abounds More
You may be in a small church or a larger one. You may face diminished numbers post-COVID. Finances may be a hassle, and motivating your people may be difficult. But summer will come.
Don’t let’s forget the power of God working through his Holy Spirit in and through us.
We have love as a weapon that pierces the hardest of hearts. God answers prayer and seems to enjoy showing off whenever I get to pray with a pre-believer over a problem in their life.
The same Spirit that prevented Paul on one occasion and led him on others is in you and me, directing the traffic of our lives.
Green Buds Show Before Days Turn Sunny
I often get too caught up in strategy, tactics and church multiplication to see the green buds bursting around me. I imagine you may suffer the same problem.
Whatever your situation, I’m praying that the power of the awesome ruler of the universe will help you see the light beyond the clouds. That 2023 will be a year of grace, power and the glory of the Lord upon you and those you serve.
Fruitful evangelism isn’t a thing of the past; it’s waiting for us right around the corner and across the street.
Article Submitted by: Jonathan Hill
Residential Director of Evangelism
Cornerstone Conference IPHC