...and that ye be renewed in the spirit of your mind (Ephesians 4:23).

An online interactive spiritual publication for the strengthening and building up of the Kingdom.

31 May 2010

White Fields

We all talk about doing evangelism, but how many of us really think anything we could possibly do will make a difference? Look at the people we work with. They are so worldly. If they are not, they are already caught up in a religion of their choice. How could anything we do ever make an impact?

Let me tell you a story. Just a few weeks ago one of the brothers from the church in Franklin, Tennessee, with which I work, accidentally bumped into someone. He said, "I'm sorry," and walked on. Later he realized the opportunity he missed, hunted that same man down and said, "Excuse me. I'm the fellow who ran into you a little while ago. I'm really sorry about that. But I just wanted to let you know that my name is Brent. I like to study the Bible and I just wanted to let you know that if you ever have any questions about the Bible, please e-mail me and I would love to talk with you about it." Brent handed the man a business card we use at the Franklin church for inviting people to visit our classes and assemblies. Brent wrote his name and e-mail address on it and gave it to the man. They talked for a few minutes and then parted.

The very next day, the man was a guest in our assemblies. Two days later, one of the brothers and I dropped by for what we call a "five-minute visit." The goal of these visits is just to let our guests know we appreciated their presence and invite them back. We never enter their house; we do not try to set up a study. We just stop by for less than five minutes. The man was not home, but his wife was. We talked with her and gave her a flyer for the singing we were going to have that Friday and then went on our way.

On Sunday, one of the sisters in the congregation pulled Brent aside and said, "I have to tell you about something. I was at work the other day just talking with one of my co-workers and she told me about her husband bumping into a man who invited him to attend one of his church's assemblies. Then she said that a couple of men from the church stopped by to visit them. She said she had visited other churches before and no one had ever shown so much interest in them. She said she might even visit with them some time. I asked, 'What church was it?' She said it was the Franklin Church of Christ."

This story is not over. I have no idea where it will go. What I do know is the seed has been planted. We are doing our job and we will leave the increase up to God. What I hope you notice, however, is here was a Christian working with someone who was actually open to something new in her religion, despite being very open that she was a Catholic. How long have these two people worked together and nothing been said? How long have we worked with people, lived next door to people, gone to school with people who are open but we just didn’t see it, so we never said anything.

This makes me think of John 4 and the Samaritan woman at the well. Have you ever noticed how the apostles went into the Samaritan city, spent some time, bought some food, and yet nobody decided to follow Jesus? A few minutes later the woman who had met Jesus at the well went into the very same city, and in the end, the majority of the city believed in Jesus. What was the difference? The apostles were so busy buying food that they did not see the prospects all around them. Besides, they were just Samaritans. The woman, just wanting to tell everyone about the man she had met, saw prospects everywhere.

Let us make sure we are not so busy working our jobs, buying our food, maintaining our houses, going to school that we miss the number of prospects all around us. Let us not assume that everyone else is predisposed not to listen to God’s message. What is the worst they will do? Tell us to leave them alone about it? What is the best? Become a child of God. Let us get out there, plant and water the seed. God will give the increase. As Jesus said-- the fields are white for harvest!

Edwin Crozier

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