Andy Kind is the evangelist at Redeemer King. In this blog series Andy shares his weekly adventures sharing the gospel.
We have our Remembrance Service coming up on 11th November, so myself, Ann and Liam hit the streets of Newbold to deliver some flyers door-to-door. I must – and indeed am about to – confess that any sort of cold-calling fills me with utter dread. I hate approaching someone and trying to get something from them. This is where biblical Christianity should look different from spin-offs such as Mormonism and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The sense of duty and courage those guys have is impressive, but whereas they come to your door because they are trying to recruit you, we should be looking to bless and serve. We are there to point people towards a relationship with God, not to drag them into a religious contract. Fullness of life and freedom is available now, not just after you die!
So I wanted to ensure that, as well as dropping flyers through letterboxes, the three of us would be open to sharing the Gospel (which is Good News, not good advice), praying for and encouraging people etc.
When someone goes out with the express and explicit aim of sharing the Gospel, it tends to produce quite definite or ‘singular’ events. In my limited experience of being ‘aart and abaart’ (as we say here in Derbyshire) when God really shows up the whole thing can feel quite scripted: promoting Jesus creates a sort of spiritual whirlpool to which people (and not always friendly people) get attracted. I remember back in Huddersfield, one evening my friend Ola and I got chatting about Jesus with a group of about twelve teenagers. Two of them had been interested but got drowned out by the cynicism of the others. Six months later when we were doing a similar thing, we met the two guys who had been keen and engaged – only this time they were on their own and we were able to really share about God’s love for them. Now obviously, God is always with us and always doing something – Aslan is always on the move – but I think I really notice his hand at work when events occur in this very definite, seemingly contrived way.
Back to Newbold. We had just prayed that we would actually get to meet and chat with people, and then as I was about to post a flyer through the first door, it swung inwards and a lady stepped out. (NB We delivered flyers to around 200 houses, and the first door was the only one that opened dramatically before my eyes). It turned out that the lady was someone Ann already knew, and we were able to share the Gospel and pray for physical healing against an illness that was keeping her off work. She was a lovely lady and we all felt encouraged by chatting to her.
Later, we went into a shop to stock up on chocolate and I felt the Lord wanted me to share something with the older lady serving. ‘Tell her I adore her – it’s been a long time since anyone told her she was adored.’
‘Yes, it’s been a long time,’ she said.
‘Well Jesus adores you, and he’s telling you now.’
‘Here’s your change,’ she responded, handing me my change.
Outside the shop, Ann (who will literally talk to anyone!) started a conversation with some people renovating a building. They had some amazing tattoos and so we asked them about their meaning and just developed a conversation from there. I admit that I wasn’t paying full attention at this point because I was eating the first Crunchie bar I’d had in ages and was wondering why Double Deckers even bothered showing up for work when it was the Crunchies that deserve all the plaudits. When I (reluctantly) snapped out of my confectionary reverie, I asked God whether he wanted to say anything to a lady sitting on a nearby step. I just heard ‘horses’. This is how it often happens with me – the Lord will drop a single word or phrase into my mind, and as I start talking to that person God will put flesh on the bones.
‘Are you into horses?’ I asked this woman.
‘Yeah, I love them – I’ve got a tattoo of a horse on my back.’
As I said in the last episode, we want to demystify the whole ‘words of knowledge’ thing. It’s not a ceremonial or wackily mystical event. You simply ask God in your heart if He wants to say anything, and then you just say what you hear – provided that it’s encouraging and/or edifying! We are not soothsayers and we don’t give premonitions – we are trying to draw people into relationship with a Dad who loves them unconditionally. ‘But what if you get it wrong?’ someone might say. Well, fortunately you’re not there to prove that you have a gift. If you are wrong, the Gospel is still right and maybe you can still have a good chat. You could say, ‘Yeah sorry, I’m a Christian and I’m learning to hear God’s voice better. I obviously heard wrong that time, but I know that He loves you….’ Etc.
I think this woman might have had a bad experience with a medium or something like that, because she was pretty freaked out at what I heard. The difference of course is that mediums and spirit guides are claiming to connect people with the dead. We’re just trying to connect people with the source of Life; the Creator of the creator of Crunchies.
Overall, we had a great afternoon. We prayed for several people in the space of about 90 minutes, and nobody refused the offer of prayer. The people of Newbold are amazing, and I definitely want us as a church to think of more ways in which we can bless and serve them, because a lot of folks there don’t know how loved they are. A litter sweep or hot chocolate in the park one Sunday afternoon might be a nice idea.
Until the next time…