Jan. 23, 2019

Stuck in the middle...

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair.” 2 Corinthians 4:8

 “For I don’t understand what I am doing. For I do not do what I want—instead, I do what I hate.” Romans 7:15

Standing firm on middle ground isn’t pleasant. You get pressured from both sides. I like to say the most dangerous place on the highway is the middle of the road. Traffic coming both directions are likely to strike you. Of course, my one-sided friends always say, “Why are you in the middle? Take a side!”

Like the Apostle Paul, I’m hard pressed on every side in most areas of my life. Spiritually, I do my best relying and depending on the Holy Spirit, but know I make mistakes. Religiously, I am a Methodist spirit attending a Baptist church. Oh, I know…I know…we all serve the same Master. But I must tell you it is hard to let go of the Baptist mentality when it comes to sharing my faith. The United Methodist Church is a wee-bit subtler.

My Baptist pastor issued a challenge this past Sunday encouraging us to pray for one person in our friendship circle that isn’t saved. Our challenge for 2019 is to bring that one person to church in hopes that they will come to know Christ.

The Baptist in me is ready to embrace the challenge and get to work. The Methodist part of me is thinking, “Warning: church marketing zone ahead.”  <wink> As he issued the challenge, a woman came to the front of the church with a friend and said, “I’m her one.” Oh, my. Tears came to my eyes. Realistically, however, I know that aggressive evangelism often turns people off. I also know that church attendance doesn’t save a person spiritually. Many sit in church every Sunday and have no clue what they believe. What’s a middle-grounder to do?

Here is where the Spirit led me. I don’t want to simply lead one person to my church in hopes of them finding Christ. I want to shout from the middle of the mountaintop, “God loves you! God sees you! God knows you! Are you interested in knowing more about an abundant spiritual life?”

If you are, text, call or write me. The Christian in me wants you to feel confident in your faith, too. Regardless of where you sit on Sunday, fall into the arms of Jesus. I know you’ll like it there.