By June Sparks, first published in Compass Winter edition 2020
At the Neighbours to Nations Conference, I was reminded once again and encouraged to continue taking small step-by-step initiatives in the lives of those around me in the process of pointing them to Jesus.
Jesus said the greatest command is to love God with heart, soul and mind, and the second is to love your neighbour as yourself. Attending, paying attention, listening, noticing, seeing are the first steps in influencing the people around you toward Christ. Jesus had compassion on the crowd, he saw them as lost, like sheep.
Prayerful seeing and hearing leads to connecting. Our encounters move from knowing by sight into acquaintance and a deepening relationship. Prayerful encounters (being with/among the lost at life events, weddings, funerals; socially – just getting together for coffee, dinner; in crises – over time, friendships develop and trust is built) can become mutual and intentional friendships.
Prayerfully taking small initiatives leads to further insight and Spirit-led seeing and seizing of opportunities: seeing obstacles to faith that need to be removed; seeing truths that need to be shared; seeing practical help to be applied.
All of it – under God – becomes God-stories within the big picture of His redemption story. Some may be stories of sowing, others of cultivating, others of reaping and seeing generations spring up. In a world where distrust and suspicion are on the rise, small random as well as planned consistent initiatives have a big impact.