I was out for a run tonight after dark and as I jogged along the footpath, I approached a couple walking the other direction. The lady moved over to her left, but the bloke was away somewhere else and didn’t see me approach till the last minute. When he looked up, saw me and got a shock, he yelped “Jesus Christ, you scared the sh*t out of me”. We all had a laugh and I ran off.
This little episode got me thinking though. Here was an average Aussie bloke for whom Jesus and the gospel was a long way from being a part of his life. He’s probably not antagonistic, but Jesus as redeemer of the world probably isn’t foremost in his thoughts either. And blokes like this certainly don’t seem to be hanging out to drop along to church on a Sunday morning either.
So what does mission look like with blokes like this? How do we as mission-focused Christ-followers speak into the life of an average Aussie like this bloke. One thought I’ve heard is about friendship and drawing alongside so that when life goes pear-shaped in some way, we are there to offer solace and God’s love and hope. This relies on us actually being in relationship with the average Aussies we know around us. Proper relationship. Or incarnating as we’ve discussed previously.
I run regularly with a bloke from my local footy club called M. M is a good bloke and I enjoy spending time with him and whilst he is a quicker sprinter than me, I can easily outrun him over 5kms! 🙂
But even with our friendship, the opportunities to “witness” to the love of Jesus aren’t plentiful, purely because we hang out. Seems there is more to it than just relationship and proximity too. I long for the day that M encounters Jesus and the Kingdom of God and I hope that I am able to be used by God to be part of it, but it isn’t going to just happen it would seem. Down at the footy club, blokes don’t just talk about life’s deep things. This is the challenge I feel in mission to average Aussie blokes. Prayer, boldness, integrity, honesty, sticking with it and being present are all parts of it.
We need to be in relationship with people. We need to be building depth and sharing into these relationships and we need to pray. What do you think?