It's amazes me sometimes how God uses simple every day happenings as reminders for us on our Christian walk. I've been saved for a long time. Twenty-four years. I've read the Bible through multiple times. I went to Bible college. I even figured out that over my life time I've attended 4000+ church services, and that's a conservative estimate! I've read Christian books, done Bible studies, and been involved in many different church ministries. It's really easy for me think I've got this Christian thing down pat. After all, I've been doing it for 24 years! I should have it figured out don't you think? It's also easy when you've been a Christian for so long to forget some things. Like telling others about Christ. I don't think being a Christian can be summed up in just one simple statement, but I'm absolutely convinced that one of the first and foremost goals of every Christian should be to share the gospel with the lost. Sadly, I find this is often the task most neglected by Christians, and even in my own life. Believe me, God has been working in my heart on this one!
God sent me a reminder last week that I need to be better at witnessing. It was when my Mom and I went to look at a grand piano that was for sale on kijiji. It turns out that it was a Pentecostal church that was selling it, because they no longer have room for it in their sanctuary. I set up a time with the pastor to go and look at it, and my Mom came with me. During our time at that church the pastor spoke about their sanctuary, their need to find a new location, their desire to build a bigger sanctuary, the difficulties of selling their current property (it's being expropriated for a road), how they got an amazing deal on the mouldings that surrounded the ceiling, how they put in a cafe, how they also have an organ that they don't use, how he sometimes works part time for his brother, etc. I played the piano a bit. It was very out of tune :P. We chatted. I told him I'd think about whether or not I wanted it. Then we left. We were there for maybe 15-20 minutes. As I walked out, I asked me Mom if she thought that was strange? Here we were in a church, speaking with a pastor, a Christian and he didn't even TRY to witness to us. He didn't even mention God or Jesus. Not once did the name of Christ enter the conversation. NOT ONCE! He didn't say anything about trusting God to provide property for them, or how God had blessed their congregation. He didn't give us a tract, invite us to a service, or ask if we went to church. He was quite a talkative man, but he talked about everything else except Christ. I have to wonder if he was even thinking of my Mom and I as lost sinners on our way to eternal separation from God in hell, and in need of Christ as our Saviour. As we were leaving, I almost felt like I should ask this pastor if he were saved!
The opportunity for this man to witness to us was there for the taking, he just didn't take it. I know I've failed to take many opportunities to witness too. Witnessing is not easy. I don't know about other people, but the idea of talking to someone about the Lord often fills me with fear. I'm really good at finding excuses not to witness. I can remember times when the Holy Spirit was vividly impressing on me just to say a simple word about Christ to someone, and I failed to do so. However, there have been times when I've listened to the Holy Spirit's leading, and I have spoken about Christ. Despite all my fears of rejection, hate, and name-calling, it's never once happened to me. I've never had someone lash out at me in hate because I mentioned the name of Christ. I know others have, but I find that usually most people I speak to about Christ are more than willing to discuss spiritual things. It's like God is saying, "See, I told you if you just obey Me, and tell that person about Me, everything will be fine." We make up so many stories in our heads about how people will react to the gospel, that we never actually give them a chance to react by even sharing the gospel with them. How do I know they'll slam the door in my face? How do I know they'll curse at me? How do I know they'll never speak to me again? I don't. My job is not to know how people will respond to Christ, and then only share Him with the ones who will respond favourably. My job is to be open to let the Holy Spirit work through me as a tool to tell others about Him. God's the one that saves people, not me. But if I never tell anyone the message, I've failed in my Christian responsibility.
Maybe you think it doesn't matter that that pastor didn't witness to me and my Mom because we're already saved. Well, if he didn't witness to us, how many other people have passed through the doors of that church that haven't been spoken to about the Lord? I don't know, maybe he normally witnesses to people, but just forgot that day???? Or maybe he never witnesses to people? I don't know his heart, so I can't say. I can only give the perspective on what happened with me. Also, wouldn't it have been nice to rejoice together in the fact that we were all born again Christians? Not only did he miss an opportunity to witness, but his lack of speaking of Christ caused us to miss an opportunity to praise our Saviour together. I really found the fact that he didn't talk to us about the Lord strange. I can't speak for this man's heart, and I'm sure he's a good person, but from my perspective, his Christian testimony was lacking that day. I know one thing. If it had been my pastor and someone was coming to look at our church piano, they wouldn't have gotten out the door without hearing about Christ!