Last night was amazing! When you UNleash students to be UNashamed of Jesus, what God can do is UNlimited!
This April is "Outreach" month in our student ministry and so for this first week we invited students to a night of sharing their faith.......with strangers! I do this fairly regularly, so not the first invite, but for whatever reason (prayer I believe), last night was special.
20 of us met at La Centerra in Katy at 6:00pm. I handed out some surveys about God, some tracts & some pencils, we prayed and off we went, nervously in twos & threes to share the LOVE OF GOD with people. I took a young man with me who has been coming the past month to our student ministry who's got some issues with God, and his family. It was great to get repeatedly shot down at first as we tried to talk with people - Ha! But it was also cool because as we walked and talked, I saw him smile for the first time! Later on he joined a group led by one of our student leaders and hung out with them. So here we all were, just walking around and trying to make Jesus known. By the way, this is not my favorite WAY of witnessing - it's risky (I've been escorted out of many a mall), it's scary and it's uncomfortable for everyone. But is A WAY. A lady who was watching DL Moody do evangelism once told him she didn't like the way he was sharing Christ - that he was too blunt and brash. His reply? "I don't like the way I do it either! What do you do?" Sheepishly she replied, "I don't.", to which he said, "I like the way I do it better than the way you don't!" So hey, I'm proud of those who showed up - scared or not!
After an hour or so we met back at our home to share and to pray for those we had spoken too. This was when Cool God Stuff started happening! A hispanic student shared how she didn't want to come but that one of the other students called her and talked her into it. She went around with a group, not saying much, until they met a Gabriella, a Spanish speaking lady. This student was able to share the good news of Jesus with her! And at the end, this lady was able to tell our student that his was just what she needed to hear and thanked her for sharing Jesus with her! A couple of guys spent the entire time just hanging out with Jason, a UPS guy who wanted to discuss his beliefs about Jesus with them. Two other young men got to talk with Will who even asked for prayer about buying a house. There were these three junior high girls - 2 atheists & a baptist (sounds like a joke in the making) who I think ALL of us got to share Jesus with at some point - Ha! One of our students brought an atheist friend with him as he went around sharing Jesus! He also took that student and another, got them food, and shared Jesus with them - kuddos! And the students kept going on & on & on sharing about who they were making Jesus known too!
Then it was time to pray. It was awesome to hear students who were talking to people about Jesus now talking to Jesus about people! And such heartfelt prayers! In the middle of it I heard a voice I didn't recognize, so..... I "cheated and peeked"! One of the students who has been attending the past couple months was praying - for the first time! Thank you Lord! Afterwards I went up to talk with her and before I said anything she hugged me and said "I was sooooo nervous to pray!" Total God moment for her!
All of this to say, when God is doing cool stuff, just get out of the way! We "planned" this outreach month long ago, but maybe GOD intended it before the creation of the world!~ I truly believe eternity was affected last night, both in salvation and in edification. It certainly mattered to Kevin, Will, Reed, Chris, Gabriella, Jason, Tim, the JH gals and everyone who Knows Jesus and Makes Him Known!
Finally, I had to "encourage" students to go home, but before I did, I shared something a pastor friend told me this week. He said he began asking God to BOTHER him. I was like, there is no way I'm praying that! But ever since then God has been bothering ME! (grrrrr) So, since I don't like going alone, I challenged all of us there to take the 48 hour challenge of sharing Jesus with someone who needs Him! AND that God would bother us until we do! How about You? I pray God bothers you & I with the things that bother HIM!