I wasn’t sure how hard I’d have to work to find opportunity for ministry this summer, but as orchestrated by God, I didn’t have to go far. Payton’s involvement as the pastoral intern really opened doors for us both to hop right in to ministry within the church. Both of us were especially desirous to minister to the community around us. God was swift in His answer to prayer. We had an amazing time at Territory Days with some friends from church who have an outreach ministry called IANA (I Am Not Ashamed) who reach people via gospel tracks and conversations. Steve has some good articles and resources about witnessing if you want to check out his website.
Payton was able to share the gospel and encourage some guys about the big picture of the Bible. I spoke with a man who claimed to be Jesus…well, actually, he renounced his claim after a minute and told me his name was Jesus in Spanish. But, he did claim to have seen Jesus several times and have heard his voice. I was able to encourage him that even the apostles who had seen Jesus transfigured said that they had a “more sure word” in the Scriptures! All that we believe must be anchored to the Word of God because experiences can deceive us at times. One of our teachers at Bible school always challenged us with the question kind of like this: Is your reality what you feel or do you let the Word of God define your reality?
And the very next day, Payton and I ventured down to our old stomping grounds of Manitou Springs, known for its new age/hippy/occult/cult population. We had planned on personal study, me in Genesis and Payton in Psalm 51 (he’s teaching it next month). Not a moment or two after sitting down, someone asked to share the booth since there was no seating left. He noticed we were reading our Bibles and started talking. He was very vague in his interactions at first, and I couldn’t tell where he was at spiritually. He was very into the root words of the Hebrew and felt that all Christians take the words of God lightly. Some words were so offensive to him, like “church” that he would only spell C-H-U-R-C-H or G-O-D for that matter. It was a 2 hour conversation so I really can’t even regurgitate it all. He kept repeating, “You must receive a love of the truth so as to be saved.” I think this was his idea of who the “true” called-out ones are. He kept referring to only speaking the Words of God by the power of the ruach (the Hebrew word for spirit). We both kept asking him what the application was of the truths he was presenting, but it stayed vague for the most part. Near the end he got agitated when Patyon tried to encourage in certain areas. As you can tell, it was muddled and intense–too much to recall or blog about for that matter! It was a good opportunity for Payton and I to peer into a unique worldview and take apart what we could see, testing things against Scripture. The truth is, the man had many things to say that were right, some even convicting Payton and I! We both considered it a learning opportunity to be able to engage in conversation with someone about truth, always returning to the Scripture as the authority.
And, actually, there have been a few more opportunities that have come our way. God certainly has been helping us along in the area of ministry and outreach! Pray for wisdom and that we’d continue to be faithful to do what He’s put before us.