I was impressed yesterday.
What I experienced shocked me to some degree and yet almost made me feel embarrassed, saddened and challenged.
What am I talking about?
Well I am on a mission trip with the 96:3 project in New York City.
We spent our day in the Bengali neighborhood of Jackson Heights praying, walking the neighborhood, talking to business owners and sharing the Gospel with people willing to listen.
After our day in Jackson Heights we spent some time walking through Little Italy and decided to take the train to Staten Island Ferry to take in Lady Liberty and the NYC skyline at night. It was breathtaking. I love this city.
On our way to the Staten Island Ferry there was a group with masks holding TV’s showing a video. My daughter Niah and I stopped by to see what was going on.
While I was standing there I met a young lady Nicole and she came and asked me a few questions about the video they were showing like “how did that make you feel?”
The video they were showing was videos of animals being killed in gruesome ways and she proceeded to try and convert me to become a vegan. Which is something Nomi and I have been talking about for health reasons. So I was willing to listen.
Nicole proceeded to explain to me with passion the values of her vegan lifestyle. Then she gave me a card and on this card was all kinds of contact info and help. Nicole said if you call this number we will hook you up with a mentor for 22 days, give you recipes and help you with your journey.
After I walked off I must say I felt embarrassed, saddened and challenged.
Embarrassed because it doesn’t seem like the Christian community is as passionate about the Gospel of Jesus as Nicole was about the vegan lifestyle. Nicole knew what she believed, why she believed it and was willing to share it with the world no matter how people treated her. If we as believers had as much passion and conviction as Nicole I wonder how much of an impact we could have on the world.
I was saddened and convicted because as Christians we believe that a person must put their trust in Christ. It is a matter of heaven and hell. The consequences of rejecting the Jesus of the Bible will impact a persons soul forever and yet for many of us it is the best kept secret in the world. I have to wonder if we really believe the truth of the Scripfures and if so, I wonder why we’re not sharing the Gospel with others.
Nicole had all the info I needed to switch to a vegan lifestyle. She had websites, a list of how I can get another source of protein in my diet besides meat. She had a phone number I can call to get a mentor for 22 days that would help me with the transition who would also provide me with recipes and answer any questions I may have.
How many people/churches provide a person who gives their life to Christ with this many resources at their disposal?
How many Christians/Churches are committed to mentoring/discipleship of a new believer?
I left their challenged in the areas of evangelism and discipleship. It seems like Christians have separated evangelism from discipleship, as if they are two different ministries. Yet Jesus said “Go into all the world and make disciples” which involves sharing the Gospel (evangelism) and teaching them to observe everything Jesus has commanded (discipleship).
Many times it has felt like “mission accomplished” when a person says yes to Jesus, yet according to Christ the mission has just begun.