Thoughts on Outreach Part 1
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
One thing I love about the latter stages of spring in Chicago (aside from the warmer weather!) is how people seem to spend more time out in the open – be it on the beach or on the patios of local coffee shops and restaurants. With the changing of the seasons comes greater opportunities to meet and to build relationships with our neighbors in the city, many of whom do not know Jesus as their Lord and savior. But how can we ensure that we make the most of the opportunities afforded to us?
One way that we can do this is by learning how to slow down. Life in the city tends to move at a faster pace than it does elsewhere. We rush from home to the train, to work, to church/Agapé communities, to the gym, to school, etc., and we move even faster when it is below freezing during winter. Living at such a frenetic pace, however, makes it easy to miss opportunities to notice and to engage with those who are around us, who could be in desperate need of hearing the life-giving message of Jesus Christ. Maybe this means we take off our headphones while riding the train or sitting in a coffee shop so we can be more open to those who are around us. As summer approaches, let us prayerfully consider how to slow down our daily lives so that we will be more open to the Spirit’s leading.
Over the next few weeks, I will share a few more thoughts on how we can approach the summer season with gospel-intentionality.