This article first appeared in: Baptist Union of Great Britain site: http://www.baptist.org.uk/blogs/big-hearted.html
I’ve done a few new things in sharing my faith recently that have, if I can be quite frank with you, scared the pants off me! I simply didn’t know if they would work or not and this uncertainty certainly got my heart pounding. So, not quite knowing what could happen last Sunday morning, I took a classical guitarist to perform in cafes and a pub to share some beautiful music. It was out of the familiar, the usual routine of a church service, into the unknown. I had an ‘inside team’ who spoke to customers about the music and gave some simple cards with some bible verses, I also had an outside team who were talking to people out on the streets giving away doughnuts and encouraging people to experience the beautiful music in the cafes.
The conversations and opportunities to pray for people blew me away. One lady asked us to pray for healing and there and then in the pub she bowed her head and closed her eyes ready for us to pray. Afterwards she thanked us and said she had experienced peace and warmth all over her.
Yet I must admit that my preparation to do a new thing just petrified me! I was tempted to just rely on what has worked before and do the same old same old. You may feel the same way, getting away from the familiar and routine is uncomfortable.
On the last Big Hearted Tour with the Central Baptist Association (CBA) I led a day at Stony Stratford Community Church on ‘The empowered life…Big hearted life with the Holy Spirit.’ As well as teaching we had some workshops and for my one I was joined by a bunch of terrified Baptists ready to learn ‘prophetic evangelism’ and then go and put what they had been taught into practice on the streets. One Baptist minister wrote afterwards: ‘Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone? Today I felt like I’d jumped out of a plane without a parachute!’ For him and others they were surprised that God used them to bring words from His heart to others. One lady who we met asked, “But, how do you know me?'”We spoke to her of the God who knows her inside and out and loves her dearly. This reassured her and comforted her in a difficult time in her life.
As President I also did something new in Great Kimble with Baptist minister Val Piper as part of my CBA leg of the tour. I took part in a Mad Hatters’ Tea Party! The idea was a new one to me and to my surprise the church was filled with families from the community. The conversations of grace encouraged me as parents wanted to know why the church would do such a kind thing.
I want to challenge us as a family to do a new thing to reach out to those around us. The Lent challenges in http://www.40acts.org are a great way to get motivated to do something new and it’s not too late to join in! And if you feel petrified in your planning to do a new thing, well you’re in good company…may we be bold enough to go, following Him who goes to the least, the last and the lost.