While I was in Colorado visiting with some church leaders about the start of a new church. I had the great opportunity to be able to go have lunch with a new friend in an old and very important place. You see we met at Senor Ric’s it was the place where 18 years ago I proposed to Michelle to marry me. Now some of you may be thinking wow Scott you are a big spender, doesn’t look like much. Well, I was twenty two and that was where Michelle told me it was her favorite place to eat. Had nothing to do with being fancy it had to do with it being the place that they lady I liked a lot love to go too.
I remember that after I had gone and asked her dad if it was OK to marry Michelle that I had to go and get the ring that she had already told me that she liked. I just want to remind then young guys out there that yes you need to ask the father to marry the daughter. (My thought is that if you don’t have the guts to ask for her hand in marriage then as a father how do I know that you are going to have the guts to stand up for her.)
I began to prepare for the evening by asking Michelle if she wanted to go out and get some food. I told her that I would take her to her favorite place, “Senor Ric’s”. She was way excited and so was I, so excited that I began to sweat just thinking about the coming evening. So I bought some flowers in an arrangement to place the ring case in for her to receive from the waiter as he came to the table with our drinks. I took the flowers and the ring to the restaurant that afternoon with the understanding that if they were not there when I showed up with my girl that someone would surely would get to meet Jesus personally face to face.
We made it to the restaurant and we were sat down at the table next to the kitchen. With the waiter that knew what was going on. Michelle and I ordered our drinks and the waiter went on his way. I just remember that as he walked away to get our drinks I remember that my mouth went dry real fast and my heart began to beat louder then it had ever before. I also remember seeing all of the kitchen staff and other staff of the restaurant begin to be hanging around the door. Then there it was the tray with the flowers and the ring. The waiter walked out and placed it on the table in front of Michelle and I sat there caught in the moment watching her face search the flowers and with surprise notice the open box with the ring in it. I then made my way to one knew next to the table and grabbed her by the hand and asked her to marry me. I have to say that in that moment between the question and the answer I felt my heart almost stop and wait just like the kitchen staff that were standing around the room. I will never ever forget the joy and warmth that I experienced when she said, “Yes”. It was in that moment that I even remember the couple next to us in the other table stop and watch as I grabbed her hand and placed the ring on her finger. I was so excited that I almost didn’t notice the tears in her eyes and the cheer that we received from the room and that group of kitchen staff that had waited as long as I had that day to hear her answer.
It was that day I remember thinking that this is the beginning to a new, exciting, and amazing phase in my life. I have not be disappointed one bit! Having Michelle on loan to me as my wife is amazing and I will never be able to express to her how much that one word of “Yes” ever meant to me.
Think about the places that you have made decisions in or places that have great meaning to your walk with those in your life, or in your walk with Christ and know that there can always be new memories in old places.
I have been talking to people all over the United States about what are things that they have done to reach people when it comes to the church. I have heard about how mass mailings work and don’t work, I have heard about how door hangers work and don’t work, I have even heard about what banners you are suppose to use and what they are suppose to look like. But one thing that I have not anyone say is “The people in our church they are the best way, to reach our community.” Now maybe that was already implied maybe it wasn’t but for whatever reason I believe that we are not leading the people in our churches to reach the people around them. Why is that? Maybe it starts out that we as the leader are not doing it yourself. Maybe it is because we are not showing people the life change that happens when someone encounters Jesus. Maybe it’s because we are not giving people that are coming a chance to respond to the Gospel.
In a recent study commissioned by the North American Mission Board and done by Lifeway there were given statistics about the top five ways most people are willing to receive information about a local church:
“Baptists like to talk more about evangelism than to actually do it,” says LifeWay director Ed Stetzer. Personal evangelizing is “a great concept that’s hard for people to get motivated to do.” Quote from article by Cathy Lynn Grossman at USA Today.
I don’t believe it is just a baptist thing. I believe it is a Christian thing. I also believe it is because we have become so afraid to say anything because we are worried about hurting someone’s feelings or that we will get turned down. I would rather honestly to get turned down then to know that I made a choice to not say anything at all. The Great Commission was “Go and Tell them” then after that the rest is up to the power of the Holy Spirit.
Now for church leaders, pastors, directors, whatever the title might be. What if you actually gave people the opportunity to respond? What if the people in the church that you have challenged to share or to go and tell actually were able to see people that they have contacted respond to the Gospel. Don’t you think for a second that seeing that happen might change their thoughts about going and connecting with people?
Just a thought.
What are you doing in your life or in your church to share with people about your church? About Jesus?