I have been reading a book by Felicity Dale called “An Army of Ordinary People” in which the author shares stories of regular folks who are engaged in starting churches around the US. This book has really challenged me because these people are finding ways to share Christ with those around them in simple and easy ways that any of us could do.
One story is of a couple who lived in a trailer court. They began to prayer walk around the neighborhood every night, and as they did, they stopped and visited with anyone they met. As they did, they began to find ways to meet needs and love people who were struggling. They invited many of their new friends over to eat a meal with them, and as they ate, the couple shared the Gospel and the group responded. People began to come to Christ and their meals became a church service as they broke bread together, discussed their life struggles and prayed for one another.
Another story told of a woman who called up a local nursing home and asked if she could start a Bible study there. It began to thrive, and she turned over the leading of the study to one of the women who lived there so she could start Bible studies at other nursing homes. This resonated with me as something I could try in my area.
This book has made me stop to think about the people I come in contact with every day. I may not know them, but how can I reach out to the postal workers, the men who hang out in front of the local convenience store waiting for work, the people in my neighborhood (many of whom do not speak English), the people in line in Wal-mart? I am still pondering and praying, but I encourage you to take a step back and look with fresh eyes at the people around you too. How can you love them? Is there somewhere you could start a Bible study for people interested in learning more? Are there people to whom you could open up your home for a meal?
“Most Christians today are trying to figure out how to bring lost people to Jesus. The key to starting churches that reproduce spontaneously is to bring Jesus to lost people. We are not interested in starting a regional church, but rather in making Jesus available to a whole region”.
– Neil Cole, Organic Church