I've had a couple rants among my recent posts, and as I've thought about it, that has bothered me a bit. While I enjoy a good rant once in a while, I don't want my blog to become like one of those cable-news shout shows. So let me change direction and talk about what really matters to me in a positive sense.
The first time I ever really shared the Gospel with anyone was back when I was in the 8th grade. At the time, my parents had just embarked on a 15 year tour of duty serving as lay staff (i.e., unpaid, but more or less full time) for Student Venture, the high school ministry of Campus Crusade. Somehow, I was able to go to their annual Christmas conference despite being underage. Part of the conference agenda was to teach all of us how to share our faith using The Four Spiritual Laws. Immediately after our two hours of training, we were packed onto buses and dropped off two-by-two in Bloomington, IN neighborhoods to share the Gospel door-to-door. Most people weren't too interested in talking with us, but one single mother was really interested in what I had to say. We read through the entire tract together and when we came to the end, she placed her faith in Christ. It was the easiest experience I ever had of sharing Christ with someone. She was a divine appointment and just ready to believe.
That one experience gave me a passion for seeing people come to faith in Christ. Moreover, since I'd had so much training(!), I pretty much assumed that all of my evangelistic experiences in the future would be similar. Would that this were the case. Over the years, I've had successes, like the 35 people who came to Christ through one of my evangelism programs back in CR, but far more often I have needed to just keep praying and investing in folks whose hearts simply aren't "ripe" just yet and may never be. Still, the fact that God can and does use me (of all people!) to help lost people find their way home to the Father is a wonder too deep for mere words. I pray God will still see fit to keep using me, His imperfect mouthpiece, as herald of a perfect salvation from sin and death and hell. I pray too that He would use me to stimulate others to embrace the marvelous joy that can be theirs when they help people find Jesus.