Good question. Let me explain.
Some folks at lunch today asked me how I was doing. As usual, my response included my assessment of the state of affairs in my church. I told them how excited I was about the rewording of our mission/vision/values verbiage to make things more memorable and catalytic to our fellowship. So I laid the BRIDE acrostic on them and quickly rattled off what each of those letters stands for in the way we want to accomplish our mission.
Lately we’ve been making a big deal out of the “B” for “Bridge Building.” That’s our metaphor for crossing over into the community with acts of mercy and kindness a la the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37. The intent is to let our light shine via good works in such a way that the unbelieving world will see our good works and so glorify our Father in heaven (Matt. 5:16).
Ray Lau in our church came up with the brilliant idea of hosting a free car wash at our office this Saturday, Nov. 21, from 10 AM to 1 PM. Last Saturday a bunch of us canvased homes around our property giving out fliers advertising the event and inviting people to come. We are praying that the Lord will work to bring a number of our neighbors to our door step so we might serve them in love and build bridges into their lives for the gospel.
Some years ago, Cincinnati pastor Steve Sjogren wrote a book called Conspiracy of Kindness, (Servant Publications, 1993, 236 pages). In it he tells a boatload of stories about how his church penetrated their geographical area with all sorts of creative servant evangelism projects. Inevitably that led to sharing the gospel with people time and time again.
In a society where other forms of sharing the gospel often meet with a great deal of resistance–one which feels it’s heard too much “God-talk” and not seen enough “God-activity”–servant evangelism seems to be a fruitful way for Christians to share God’s love with their community. Our experience in Cincinnati has shown us that evangelism must contain the right words, but that those words must follow the demonstration of the love of God (p. 22).
Now I don’t think that is always true. Nor does the author. He allows for the utility of other approaches to sharing the gospel. God uses all kinds of things to reach all kinds of people.
But he does have a point. That was reinforced for me last Saturday when another little ditty from the Ticked Off section of the paper caught my eye. I have to stop reading that stuff! Someone vented their displeasure at the number of people knocking on his door at all hours of the day on Saturdays to tell him about God.
In our day of postmodern skepticism in a post-Christian world, it seems to me that it is more important than ever to work at building relationships with nonbelievers and showing them the love of God in acts of kindness on the way to telling them the gospel of Christ that can save their souls.
That’s why our Reformed church is venturing out this Saturday to wash cars, for free. We want to build bridges into our community to be a blessing. We want to be the gospel so we can share the gospel.
So far about ten folks have volunteered to participate in all aspects of the outreach. We need about twenty.
What are you doing from 10 to 1 this Saturday? If you can help, let Ray know ASAP. And by all means, pray. Pray that God allows us to build bridges for the gospel by washing cars for His glory and their joy.