In my previous job, I was involved in implementing a new finance system. It was a very challenging role because the deadline to roll out the system was very tight. I worked days and nights to test the system to make sure the system could cater to all kinds of unusual scenarios. I had the privilege of working with a group of consultants who were also very passionate about the project. We were so totally obsessed with the project. During lunch time, we would also be talking about work. To this day when we met, we will still talk about the good old days when we were working together on the project.
But the stress was getting to me then. When the first major milestone of the project was coming to an end, I started to ask myself, “Do I want to spend all my waking hours just doing system testing and troubleshooting the rest of my life? Are the sleepless nights really worth it?” The rest, as they said, is history.
I have been working in PSPC for more than two years now. I enjoy the work I am doing, and it is the most productive two years of my life, albeit in a different way. God has given me such a privilege and honour that I get to have opportunities to share the Good News with non-believers and help them see how God’s Word can be applied to their lives. It is so wonderful seeing the youths grow from being doubtful, to being eager to learn more about God, trusting Him even in times of difficulty, and to coming forward to attend Membership Class. It is truly amazing to see how God is working in each of their lives.
Having the opportunity to welcome visitors each Sunday, seeing them settle down in PSPC and attending Membership Class is yet another privilege that I enjoy. Once, a visitor walked in on a Sunday just 15 minutes before her examinations and said she wanted to find out more about Christianity. I prayed for her and asked her to come back again after her paper so that I could share more with her. Though we could not meet that Sunday, she did come back the following week and shared that she scored A+ for the paper which was one of her weakest subjects.
Though we are not all called to full-time ministry, God does call us all to be evangelistic believers:
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders, make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Colossians 4:5-6)
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (1 Peter 3:15-16)
In his book, “Surprise the World”, Michael Frost recommends that all of us should develop these 5 habits so that we can be evangelistic believers.
1. Bless – Bless 3 people each week, at least one of whom is not a member of the church. This will make us become more generous.
2. Eat – Eat with 3 people each week, at least one of whom is not a member of the church. This will develop in us a greater capacity for hospitality.
3. Listen – Spend at least one period of the week listening for the Spirit’s voice. This will make us become a more Spirit-led person.
4. Learn – Spend at least one period of the week learning Christ. This will make us become more Christ-like.
5. Sent – Journal throughout the week about the ways you alerted others to the universal reign of God through Christ. This will help us to increasingly see ourselves as a missionary in our neighbourhood.
Notice that #1 and #2 involves reaching out to someone who is not a member of the church? If you do not have opportunities to do so during the course of the week, why not do so on Sundays?
In 2017, we received at least 244 visitors in our worship services. This breaks down roughly into one third of tourists, one third of family and friends, and one third of walk-ins. Excluding the tourists, 20% of the others continued to worship with us regularly. For those who stayed, many have shared that we are a very warm and friendly church. Hence, the Welcome Team and all of us should give ourselves a pat on the back for being such good hosts. However, I am sure there is always room for us to improve:
· If we have more members who are willing to come forward to intentionally look out for visitors, we will be able to identify more new faces every Sunday.
· If we have more members who are intentionally looking out and following up with these new visitors every Sunday, they will come back again and again.
· If we have more members who are willing to spend time to share the Good News with those who are seeking, more lives will be transformed.
Let's avail ourselves to be the bearer of God’s Good News, and reach out to those who walk through the doorways of PSPC. If each and every one of us will do our part, make the most of every opportunity, and extend the love and hospitality that is commanded of us, the visitors among us will see the difference and will be curious as to the hope and love that drive us. Sunday can be the most “productive” day of the week.
Hence, like what Pastor Darryl has been advocating – Let us inculcate the habit of showing hospitality – Receive, Reconnect, Repeat – each Sunday.
Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives. (Titus 3:14)