So we recently got a request from a non-Christian who wanted to sit down and get coffee, he stated that he wanted to talk specifically about "Jesus' saving grace" but unfortunately he was in an area where we don't have any volunteers. I pulled out my handy Google search engine and found a few Churches in his area. After reviewing doctrines I settled on two Churches in his area and sent them e-mails, asking if anyone was available to meet up with this guy and just talk to him, the responses I got rocked my heart.
I e-mail this person to hang tight, we'll find someone at a local church to reach out to you soon.
The first Church on my list never got back to me. Period. It has been over a month since this encounter and I still have not heard a peep from them. Which really shocked me considering the size of the congregation but I figure people get lost in the shuffle all the time, no big deal.
The next Church on my list, much smaller, similar response, but for this congregation I was able to find a phone number. I called them up, explained the project and they say that the pastor is away and that he could potentially make this happen when he gets back from vacation in a week.
Sounds good right? I message the guy back that someone will get back to him soon, things seem to be looking up. A week later I get this message
"I’m sorry to inform you that we aren't able to be a part of your project" and beyond this I found that they accidentally sent me the message thread of the pastor and staff discussing why they cannot meet up with this person in the quoted text section.
The discussion in the quoted text infuriated me. I won't disclose any of the details of these conversations but all of the reasons stem back to one thing, they don't know him, and are thus uncomfortable sitting down to talk with him. I messaged back that perhaps they had misunderstood, that I wasn't asking to make them a part of the project, I just wanted them to reach out to someone in their area who wanted to know more about Christ. I have not heard back since.
What really irked me was that what I had seen in the quoted text sounded like they were afraid to talk about Christ with someone they did not know. My heart was breaking at this point. I'm praying for this church, I'm praying for this man, I'm praying for our culture. I hope that you will join me in these prayers.
As the body of Christ we need to change our attitude about sharing the Gospel. We need to be much more willing to get out of our comfort zones and speak up for Christ, not just with those who are asking to know more but everyone.
The story has a happy ending, I messaged the person back and tell them the bad news. He replied that in the interim he was able to find someone to talk to, but we need to take this lesson to heart.