Act 25: Roadwork Ahead
God has generous gifts for people outside of the church, for businesses, for those in our workplaces, and for our schools. And the phenomenal thing is he wants to give them through us. So today, live church outside the building. Get out into the streets, and be the encounter between God and those who have never met him.
Green: Ask God to show you the opportunities around you today, and simply be more prayerful and intentional in the places you go to.
Amber: Pray for a colleague in the workplace. Or, sit in a coffee shop and ask God what he might like to say to someone else in there – then go and tell them.
Red: Find a stranger in the street! Ask them, ‘Is there anything I can pray about for you?’
“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavours of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? … Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world.” (Matthew 5:13–14 MSG)
I often say that I love to be in places where people are least likely to expect a God encounter. I’ve had some of my best faith conversations in some of the most unexpected places!
One of my favourite places to start ‘God chats’ is at my local gym. I remember one person who appeared to be very independent, confident and feisty – impossible to keep up with in a CrossFit class! The kind of person I was nervous to approach and pray for.
One day, after a class, I felt prompted to offer to pray for her. In accepting the offer, she looked at me and said, ‘I don’t know how to pray.’ to which I replied, ‘You don’t have to do anything! I’ll just talk to God.’ This encounter then led to deeper friendship and openness I happen to serve at my gym as a chaplain. As I go there prayerfully and intentionally, I find myself taking time to listen to people’s stories. It’s easy to assume people won’t want prayer in a place like that when really we’re often more scared of offering prayer than people are of receiving it.
We don’t need to fear as we step out of our church buildings to share our faith. God is already present in every part of our world; there is no place where he is not. He is waiting for us to join him.
Our job is to help people taste and see the goodness and generosity of God. Our role is to enhance his presence, to bring out a distinctiveness, to make the God-flavours and God-colours even stronger and brighter.
One of the most compassionate things I think we can do is to offer to pray for someone. This opens up a faith dynamic, invites Jesus into the situation, and demonstrates the kindness of God. I’ve prayed with people in changing rooms and cycling classes, and every time there is a hunger for more.
Think about where you will be today; remind yourself that God is already there. Look for opportunities to listen, love and offer a prayer. Bring out the God-colours and God-flavours where you are today.