How One Little Card is Changing My Perception Toward Outreach

Yesterday, our church started the 52 Week Challenge.  It is a challenge to personally invite 1 person/family to church each week for 52 weeks and see what God will do with our faithfulness.  We made cards for our congregation that has our website, address and meeting time (along with our church name and mission statement).  Each person/family who accepts the challenge is given a set of 52 cards to personally hand out (some have taken more than one set).

I took two sets for my family and it is already changing my outlook on things.  I currently have two cards in my back pocket and I am looking for ways to connect with people to hand them out.

Today, I had lunch with one of our congregation members.  While I was totally there for them, I found myself looking for a way to talk with someone (waiter, hostess, etc...), so I could learn their name and invite them to church in my moments in-between our conversation.  Unfortunately, the waiter who serviced our table wasn't around much and didn't even have a name tag on, so I couldn't in good conscience give him an invitation.

But that doesn't mean I didn't learn something about outreach through this encounter.

The first thing I realized was that outreach isn't hard.  I've talked with my waiters and waitresses in about every place I have ever eaten, including fast food restaurants.  The fact that I ran into an exception today doesn't change this fact.  It would have been really easy for me to say something like, "Thank you, Matt your service today.  I want you to know that I am a Christian and would like to pray for you if you have any needs today.  My family would also like to invite you and your family to join us sometime for worship at our church.  If you ever come, text us when you get there so you can sit with us, we would love to get to know you and your family."  Then, I would hand them the card.  I was ready for that, but it didn't happen today...and that's okay.

The second thing that I noticed was that I was ready.  In other words, I was geared up for outreach.  I was thinking about the opportunities I would have today to hand out my card.  When the time came, I took time to try and find out the server's name (even though I was unsuccessful).  However, I noticed things about him that I wouldn't have recognized if I wasn't thinking about outreach.  For example, our server had a tattoo of something that looked like a cross on his right wrist.  He may have already been a believer.  I was thinking of ways to connect with him so that I could share a mutual encouragement in our shared belief in Christ or invite him to a place where he could learn about what that means.  It may seem small, but those details are often overlooked by me in regular dining settings, but today, I couldn't get those details out of my mind.

Finally, I recognized I was on a mission from God.  In reality, as believers in Christ, we are always on a mission for God to share the good news of Jesus to the world around us (Mat. 28:18-20).  However, I forget...a lot.  Having those 2 little cards in my back pocket helped me to focus today and plan for further opportunities during the week.  These are opportunities I might have otherwise missed if I hadn't picked up the challenge offered by my church to fulfill the commission given by my Lord.

And this is just day one!

What lessons are you learning from this one little card?


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