This past weekend our church family was blessed to meet and hear from Dan Freng, pastor of Calvary Littleton Church in Littleton, Colorado. I am so grateful for how our church family welcomed Dan and is embracing the partnership we are forming with that congregation! As we talk about being outward-minded this year, our partnership with Calvary Littleton is a tangible way for us to move beyond ourselves and make an impact among people we don’t even know at this point. This is evidence of Marshfield First Baptist fulfilling the Great Commission to go and make disciples. This is our church being witnesses “in Jerusalem, all Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). We start where we are and go outward from here.
As we go and shine the light of Jesus in Littleton, Colorado our light begins to shine even brighter here at home. My prayer for us is that as we find ways to be outward and that our witness will be seen and heard even better right here in Marshfield, Missouri. Each one of us who are Jesus followers have a story to tell. Our mission is to tell God’s story as we tell our own. I would challenge you to put some thought into your story of being a Jesus follower. What were you like before you knew Jesus? What was important to you? How did you look at life? What did you think about others? Did you think about others? How did you come to consider trusting in Jesus as Lord of your life? What brought you to that point? And now, how is life different since you know and follow Jesus? What has He done in your life and how can you include that in everyday conversation? How can you include any of these aspects of your story in every day conversation?
My prayer for us is that being “outward” with our faith becomes a natural part of life every day. I was challenged in our Wednesday group study called “Tell Someone” to listen for clues in conversations that can open the door to a spiritual conversation. As I was dealing with a salesman last week, I learned that he had recently gone through cancer treatment. As we continued to talk, he told me that his mother had died just a few months ago. Suddenly I’m thinking: these are clues! Here’s an opening to share some good news! So I just asked a couple of questions: What was is like to think that you could be facing death? And what do you think happens to people when they die? It opened up a conversation about faith in Jesus. It was a simple conversation that was an opportunity to “plant some seeds” for the gospel. I went away thinking: how many times do I miss these kinds of opportunities? I’ve got to be more outward thinking! I hope you will do the same thing. Listen for the clues in the things people are saying in your daily conversations. Let’s not miss opportunities to have meaningful spiritual conversations with people.
I hope you will join me on this “outward” journey. I’m looking forward to what God will do through us in the year ahead!