I took a young man with me to a speaking engagement some years ago. This guy, in his late teens, very much looked like he was on the cusp of commitment to Christ. I had asked him to come with me for the drive into Yorkshire and to help me out by reading the scripture I was going to speak from.
With an auditorium full of excitable youth I was invited to the front and beckoned my friend to come join me as his scripture reading was up first. He did well, he read clearly and confidently. I then expected him to return to his seat hoping secretly he’d be profoundly impacted by what I was going to say; maybe my words would tip him over the edge.
To my surprise, once he had finished his piece he just stood there, bible open at his passage, just a few feet from me and remained there for the full duration of my talk. I am convinced he would have taken a bow at the end had I asked him. He was unchurched and didn’t know the etiquette. In his mind we were in this together, a double act on mission – it was the highlight of my day, a quite profound moment.
We should aim to live purposefully, striving to live intentionally for Christ and continue to think of creative ways to share the gospel. But along the way we also set an example for those we journey with. We don’t need to wait for a summer mission or an international trip to experience ‘evangelism’ or see what Christian ministry looks like.
As we ‘do mission’ each day in full view of our community we should display the realities of a life spent for the glory of God and we should call all those around us to join in.
In chapter Corinthians 11, Paul exhorts the church with these words: follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. The church in Corinth is called to imitate Paul as he imitates Christ, who in turn only does what he sees his father doing. We are also called to join in, we are called to follow Paul as he follows Christ. We are not to stop there but call others to follow us.
This is not some crazy pyramid scheme that sees us prompted as we add more followers but I see it more like a great conga of gospel living as we follow the train Christ leads or a cosmic game of ‘Simon says’ with Jesus at the front.