Mission (FOR!) Wynne Thoughts (E)
Day #1 for Mission Wynne 2011 is in the books. I had the great privilege of prayerwalking this morning with my intern Drew Holland and participating at the Kidz Camp at City Park with my family tonight. Below are some initial thoughts as I process what I encountered today (in no particular order):
1. Studying and preaching Jeremiah 29:1-14 REALLY helped set a biblical tone for my soul as the events kicked off today. Watch or listen to the sermon I preached yesterday here. God used it in my own life to be intentional about everything knowing that “going and loving” instead of hoping they will “come and see” is exactly what He has ordained. It is the will of God to go to the people and seek their shalom.
2. Prayerwalking is a non-negotiable. The needs are so great. The opportunities are so many. The potential is so tremendous. The darkness is so dark. The sin is so pervasive. The blindness is so blinding. How could we ever expect to actually accomplish anything for eternity if we didn’t cry out to God for help? Covering the city with prayer for help – for the people of the city and for our church to know how/what to do is a must.
3. Bringing shalom to the city of Wynne will take time, patience, and a willingness to get messy. I had extended conversations with two different men tonight. One was an older man named Earnest. The other a younger man (early 30’s???) named Jerry. When asked what they believed to be the number one need in their community one said, “help for teenage boys who have no fathers and whose mothers work all day;” the other said, “unity within the community…all we want to do is shoot and kill each other.” One admitted to being addicted to alcohol. The other told me horror stories of what he saw during his near four years of being incarcerated. Both were extremely nice and friendly and easy to talk to. Both have deep, deep issues that need shalom. That was two. As I said in point one yesterday: WBC must plant roots not ruts.
4. My flesh is always working to help me waste my life. It happened again. This morning I didn’t want to go prayerwalking. This afternoon I didn’t want to go and be intentional at the Kidz Camps. I didn’t even really want to go at all. But, by God’s grace, I went. I know that my heart is filled with greater fulfillment now than it would be had I stayed home. I was created to go and declare the love of God for all people for the glory of God from among all peoples.
5. Natural conversations that seek to show people that you care will almost always automatically lead to a Gospel conversation. With the two guys I got to talk tonight, all I did was ask questions about them and eventually asked how I could pray for them. In both circumstances an opportunity to ‘slip in the Gospel’ came up…naturally…uncanned and unplanned…it just happened. I went into each conversation not even intending to bring up the Gospel. I just wanted to listen and hear and love. Both times the Gospel found itself being verbalized in some shape, form, or fashion.
What thoughts and observations have you made?