Monday, March 12, 2007
Saturday morning Anita, Emma and I prayer walked around the Southern Magnolia subdivision. We'd never done it before and so we were learning by doing.
Emma (7) wasn't sure what she was getting into so once we started walking she had questions. Patiently I explained to her what we were trying to do (figuring it out as I'm explaining it). "Emma, we're praying for the people in this neighborhood as we walk. No we won't close our eyes. See that lady there? 'Lord, I pray for her to find Christ if she hasn't already.' See those toys there. 'Lord, I pray for those children that they would meet Jesus.' True, Emma. Children may not live there..."
It was truly a learning experience for all of us. We prayed for small group host homes, first-time guests from this neighborhood to come to our worship service, salvation, help for kids struggling in school, single parents, the new neighborhood under construction next door and more.
It was a great experience and I sensed the pleasure of God as we walked around the neighborhood. I think it's because what we were doing was done "In faith" and "Incarnationally."
Simply, we were praying and walking believing that God would answer our prayers. So we took the time to go to that neighborhood (and risk being seen by others(!)) and prayed that God would bless them. "Without faith, it is impossible to please God." Hebrews 11:6
This is the Christmas story. God put on flesh and came down. The Creator became a creature. This is the basic mission for all of us as followers of Christ. To engage the mission by engaging people wherever they are with the love of Christ.
A cool ministry I've recently discovered along these lines is found at www.withreach.com. They have coined this word "Withreach" as a reaction to typical outreach. Instead of spending money to simply attract people to church, they are encouraging people to engage people where they are with the love of Christ. It rings so true because that's exactly what Jesus did.
That's what I want to do. That's what I want my family to do. I want our church to do.
By God's grace, we will-today. Will you?