Turn To Your Neighbor, reimagining evangelism, valuing the thresholds of the journey that lead to a deep encounter with Jesus.
This week, Chelsea Tyson shares thoughts and reflections on Sunday's message.
One of my favorite quotes comes from a song by Jimmy Needham:
As someone born and raised in a Christian family, these lyrics serve as a much needed reminder to speak boldly about my faith. Sometimes, we get in the habit of keeping our faith in our own little Christian circles. It’s easy to talk about all that God has done and is doing in our lives with other people who believe in God, but when it comes to those who have different views and values as we do, we like to tone it down a bit. After all, we don’t want to step on anyone’s toes and be “that Christian” who drives everyone away in an effort to “make converts.”
At the beginning of this series, we looked at the importance of sincerely getting to know those around us and meeting them where they’re at whether or not they share the same opinions, views, or beliefs. As we wrapped up the series last week though, Pastor Rich challenged us to have “the right kind of urgency” as we engage with the world around us.
It’s topics like this that make me feel my comfort zone calling me back to its warm embrace of complacency and acceptance. Our responsibility as Christians to share the hope we have with others (1 Peter 3:15) can be intimidating, especially in our culture.
I found that so profound. We can go on and on for hours talking about our opinions and what we think is good, true, and beautiful. But to say we know what is true? That’s a whole other story. It’s just like how I love the idea of being an adventurous backpacker, and I could talk on and on about what I think that would be like. Making that dream a reality though holds so much more weight and implies so much more than just loving the idea of something.
But imagine if you started going to a personal trainer, and as soon as you said you were “tired,” he let you end the workout for the day. How would you make any progress? Yes, in the beginning, the trainer observes you through each exercise to gauge your limits and get a better understanding of where you are physically, but it doesn’t stop there. Then, he walks along with you through the process, through the journey, towards your goal with a sense of urgency because without that sense of urgency, there will be no progress. This is the type of journey that Pastor Rich unpacked throughout this series —a journey with seasons.
Just like a personal trainer does not expect you to do 100 push-ups from the very first session, this sense of urgency does not come without first establishing a relationship. As we walk with each other on this journey and take that sometimes scary step of sharing our faith with those around us, there is a season for patience, but as relationship and trust develops, there is space for the right kind of urgency, knowing that there is a God who relentlessly pursues a relationship with His people no matter where we are. And in that relationship lies a hope and peace far beyond our understanding. Who wouldn’t want to be eager to share that news?