Last week, I asked: How do we take God’s amazing grace outside our church walls? How do we focus more on bearing fruit for Christ? How can I present myself more as a fellow-pilgrim rather than an expert? How can you be an activist, whose actions speak louder than words? How can we witness better through our artistic and creative abilities?
I recently started wearing a sky-blue rubber band with the words: Prayer, Care and Share on the top and our website: www.PrayWithYou.org on the bottom. I’ve ordered hundreds to give away for a challenge.
How will this help us act more like pilgrims? Or activists? Or be more creative?
Years ago, I joined “The Lighthouse Movement,” a coalition of churches around the world. The goal centered on the words: Prayer, Care and Share. We pray for and care for our neighbors while looking for opportunities to share our beliefs. “If we can equip people to get out of the church and into their neighborhoods, schools and offices, we can witness an amazing movement of God…” (Lighthouse Movement Prayer Guide)
Jesus said: “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12) We are called to be light while remembering that Jesus is the source: the Lighthouse.
How do we take God’s amazing grace outside our church walls? We become a lighthouse.
How do I present myself as a fellow pilgrim? Prayer is the tool that makes pilgrims of us all.
How can you be an activist? Acts of caring speak louder than words.
How can we be more creative? Sharing our faith with others inspires creativity.
The lighthouse challenge is to choose three to five people in your family, neighborhood, school or workplace. Then, for 30 days:
1. Prayer: Pray for them regularly by name and ask God to use you as an influence.
2. Care: Look for opportunities to demonstrate God’s love with simple acts of caring.
3. Share: Trust God to provide an opportunity to share your faith in an appropriate way.
The sky-blue rubber band serves as a continual reminder of the lighthouse challenge. For 30 days, I will be praying for specific people, looking for opportunities to offer an act of caring and trusting God to offer an opportunity to share my faith. At the end of 30 days, I can switch the band to another wrist, name three to five more people and start over. What if all of us took this challenge? Why not?
“You are the light of the world – like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all.” (Mat. 5:14)
I first tried the Lighthouse challenge years ago and selected three people. The first few days went by with nothing much happening so my prayers took on a tone of frustration. But, I heard an internal voice asking: “Have you provided an act of caring?” Sheepishly, I could only respond with, “No!”
I was the perfect example of “preaching the message” and expecting others to do the work. Something had to change and the change had to happen within me.
I had a new bread-making machine in a corner of the kitchen unused. The small voice whispered: “Prepare loaves of bread and deliver them as an opportunity to share?” Bread? Me? Shouldn’t I be doing something more grandiose, more theological? After all, I am a preacher! From the silence that followed, I assumed the answer was… make bread!
There were several hilarious failures which involved learning about the importance of following instructions: Who knew a tablespoon of yeast was important? Who knew that you couldn’t open the lid early and peek? Finally, I had three loaves of bread that were presentable and edible.
My first visit was to a retired teacher who recently stopped attending church. There was a dispute, feelings hurt and rumors she would never return. I presented the bread. After a pause, she said: “Usually preachers are asking for something. This is the first time one ever gave anything!” Then she smiled and invited me in. We talked about the dispute and prayed for guidance. Weeks later, she returned.
The second visit was to a recently separated mother trying to raise three children. When I gave her the bread she sat down and cried. Soon we were talking about her struggles and praying together. The third visit was to a car dealer friend in town. He occasionally attended another church but loved telling all his customers about the preacher who brought him a loaf of bread.
How do we take God’s amazing grace outside our church walls? Became a lighthouse.
How do I present myself as a fellow pilgrim? Prayer was the tool that humbled and prepared me.
How can you be an activist? Making bread and other acts of caring speak louder than words.
How can we be more creative? Sharing our faith with others involves listening and inspires creativity.
Prayer, Care, Share: “Come, people of Israel, let us walk in the light of the Lord!” (Isaiah 2:5)
Prayerfully consider taking the 30 day challenge for yourself and becoming a lighthouse for God. Choose three to five people. Then for thirty days: 1. Prayer, 2. Care, 3. Share.
Would you like some of the Lighthouse Challenge: Prayer, Care, Share rubber bands for you or your church? You can order and register online at our website: www.PrayWithYou.org In return I ask that you give a donation to our Park View Community Mission which provides two weeks’ worth of groceries to approximately 700 families every month.
You can read more about Park View Community Mission by clicking here. http://www.sowingseedsoffaith.com/devotions/park-view-community-mission/
Next week: A New Church: Lifetree Cafe