LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

Life Before Words

I recently read an article in the March/April '07 issue of Relevant Magazine by Holly E. Ordway. It was called An Atheist's Unexpected Journey to Faith, and outlined how this former atheist professor met God because someone took time to invest in her life. Her friend wasn't the "typical" Christian who hands you a tract with the Romans Road or asks you, "If you die today do you know where you'll end up?" No, this was a true friend. Someone who took time to invest in her life, show an interest in what Holly enjoyed, and answered questions at the appropriate time.

Reading the article made me want to be more like her friend. Here are some highlights of how her friend helped her meet Jesus...

  • "It all started over coffee with a friend from my fencing club." [Doing life together. I like that.]
  • "...the conversation shifted from casual chit-chat into a discussion about God. I'd only recently learned that this friend was a Christian..." [Cool. She didn't ram it down her throat.]
  • "In my experience, people in conversations like this usually start discussing the Bible and Jesus...not understanding that there's no point in talking about what God wants if you don't think there's a God!" [We have to speak so they can hear.]
  • "I'd never had a conversation with a serious Christian who was genuinely interested in what I had to say, someone who challenged my assumptions and accepted challenges in return without being defensive." [Sad. I wonder who is around me who would say the same thing?]
  • When Holly finally accepted Christ, she said, "The look of surprise and joy on my friend's face is one I hope I'll never forget." [We've all had that same feeling, when the light clicks for someone and they suddenly realize how much they matter to God.]
  • "My friend was quite firm that as a Christian I needed to start going to church..." [That's good advice.]

Pick up a copy of Relevant Magazine and read the article today. It will give you a peek into the mind and heart of a truly unchurched, disinterested person who eventually met Christ. And it might even help you rethink how you speak with your life before you speak with your words.