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An Awkward Matter of Utmost Importance

Dear Crosswalkers,
I made a decision to follow Jesus in the early part of 1969. It changed my life forever. At that same time, a young Christian folksinger named John Fischer put out an album which is considered the very first of “Contemporary Christian Music.” From there, the Jesus Movement gathered energy and took off. One of the songs from that album remains perhaps my favorite devotional song. It is a contemporary version of the Lord’s Prayer, and you can listen to it here. Believe it or not, I still sing that song every now and then as my morning devotion. There is something powerful about a simple song that had a major impact on my young Christian life!
John Fischer went on to compose more songs and he also wrote several books. One of them is called Fearless Faith, and in it he writes about sharing our faith. This is a subject most Christians dread. We know the Lord Jesus told us to shine with his light and share our faith, in word and in deed; but it sometimes seems so awkward. Yet this awkward matter is of utmost importance! It is how Jesus designed his church to grow.
Of all the “methods” of faith-sharing that have been used, what is called “friendship evangelism” is considered to be the most effective. For example, in his book, Fischer tells about a pastor who served as a short-term missionary in France. Part of his job was to knock on 4,000 doors and to leave a card that the person could fill out and mail in for a free Bible and study guide. Out of 4,000 homes, there was not one response.
Not one!
Reflecting on his experience, the pastor said that if he had the opportunity to do it all over again: "I would move into that neighborhood and love my neighbors."
Of course, we don’t have to go to France to do that. We all live in neighborhoods, and we can love our neighbors in Jesus’ name, befriend them, and maybe have an impact on their lives.
I want to invite you to attend an event sponsored by our region, Growing Healthy Churches (GHC). It is called GO101, and it convenes Saturday, March 21 at our sister church, First Baptist, in Santa Clara. The event is from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. It would be fantastic if you could stay for the entire session, but if you can only come for a portion, please consider the first hour. At 9:00 a.m., Gilbert Foster will be speaking on “How Did You Baptize 800 believers in 10 years?” Gilbert is the consultant who will be leading Crosswalk through our journey of pastoral transition. I would love for you to get to know him. He is full of spiritual wisdom and a compelling speaker. There will also be a series of breakout seminars. More information will be forthcoming. Please save the date and let’s try to have a good contingent of Crosswalkers at this event!
It just may encourage us in the awkward matter that is of utmost importance!
Pastor John

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