The challenge of walking with the God who knows me
Names changed throughout except in some cases where the person involved has been or is in ministry.
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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
“It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”
As the implications of following Jesus in a new and more devotional way began to have their impact, we began to see the need to structure the ministry in this new way. We backed off from pushing ministry and began instead to look at the life of Jesus.
I had always been keen to push the students in the area of evangelism. Although I considered it important, there was also an element of fear driving this attitude. If there were not converts and new people joining the group then the group would die. Student ministry is dependant on a new generation each year, it only takes two years missing in a row and that can be it. Now however I sensed that this pressure was an example of my wicked manipulation, and in a sense a sacrifice to the god of ministry. As we backed off it became painful to hear how much this sense of the need to evangelise was driven into the students from every source.
Now as we looked at the life of Jesus the whole atmosphere of the group began to change. It came across in a number of ways.
Firstly, a comment from someone who had been one of our key leaders. She had gone to New Zealand for a year to be involved with the Navigators there. When she returned she commented that the group had changed from being focused on method to loving Jesus. That was a real encouragement to hear.
We also noticed a difference in the attitude of service among the group. We had always sought to serve the group, and had hoped that they would in turn follow the example. It had never really happened. We had tried preaching on the subject, but still there was nothing. After a short time of focusing more on Jesus the group began to serve without our saying anything.
We had consistently failed to encourage people to bring their friend to evangelistic Bible studies over the years, now there was a change. The students began to ask us if it would be all right if they invited their non Christian friends along to the studies. What is more they came.
The group was probably less well equipped in terms of methodology, but they had a love for Jesus, and I am sure that in his eyes, that was by far the most important thing. We were indeed beginning to bear fruit.