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Starting a mission church is difficult, slow and not very glamorous work. When you start from scratch, there is no ready made group, eager to pound the pavement along side you and help spread the good news of Jesus Christ. And yet, there is tremendous joy in going door to door and talking with folks about this Jesus, and listening to their own experiences, good, bad, and ugly, that have for one reason or another alienated them from the Body of Christ we call the Church.

How did those early disciples do it? Surely their obstacles were far greater than what we face? And yet, somehow, without modern conveniences or technology, they somehow managed to not only spread the message, but convert some of the most hardened cynics in the process. Saul of Tarsus is a good example.

And oh, how the cynics abound today as well. It isn’t until they are assured that a) this isn’t a political visit, or b) a sales call, that they let their guard down long enough to see that we are there to offer them a gift. A gift? Really. You mean you’re not asking for money. No, no money. You mean you’re not here to tell me I’m going to hell? No, not that either.  You’re not here to tell me what I must do? Nope, I’m here to tell you what God has done for you. Through Jesus. On the cross. He gives you the gift of forgiveness – complete cleansing of all that you have done – all you have to do is receive it.

How did those disciples do it? Well, they expected a response – like Jesus before them, they looked into people’s eyes and said “Come, follow me”. And they expected action, whether through repentance, belief or baptism, a change was expected in the lives of those who followed.

How did the disciples do it? They made sure that those to whom they came knew that following Christ was about a relationship, Jesus opened his arms in love on the cross, offering us forgiveness for our sin, and his Holy Spirit as a guardian and guide in our present and future. A relationship takes two. A relationship with Jesus requires and demands by its very nature that we bear witness that through Jesus we are changed and because of Jesus we need to draw others to Him.

How did the disciples do it? They were changed. They were overwhelmed with the love this Jesus had for them in giving his life for them. They were filled with his Holy Spirit and compelled to go and tell others what great things he had done for them. And you? And I?


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