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David Schuppan, a Sending Church pastor, said to his Murrumba Downs congregation recently that they weren’t going to talk about evangelism anymore, not even ‘friendship evangelism’. All he wanted them to do was make friendships for friendship’s sake.
Pastor David says it’s important to earn the right to share the good news when people ask the question. ‘My job is to have conversations with people, and earn the right to plant seeds that may lead to a conversation down the line. I’m also to be available to the harvest – but I leave the growing and the watering to God and the Spirit’, he says.
What gives Pastor David joy is watching the ‘penny drop’ in a person’s spiritual journey – people who have sat in the pews for years but only have an intellectual understanding of the gospel.
‘Their view of graciousness becomes greater, and they’re freed up from legalism. They start to see they have gifts to contribute, and it’s not just about turning up on Sunday and putting money in the plate. Life changes when that happens.’
But the biggest obstacle to this growth is anxiety and fear.
‘I grew up a very fearful and anxious person’, he says. ‘My own spiritual journey has led me to an understanding of these issues and how they get in the way of doing to work of the gospel.’
‘We are our own worst enemies’, he says. ‘We beat ourselves up for no good reason. We forget that we are a partnership with the Spirit – and the Spirit will make things work.’
Pastor David says we must remind ourselves that the church belongs to Christ, so he’ll cause the growth.
‘All we need to do is the job he’s given us.’
This is the fifth of six stories about LCA church planters to coincide with the Season of Prayer. You can view the video story at the Story of the Week webpage www.lca.org.au/sow
For promotion resources for the Season of the Prayer, go to www.lca.org.au/new-and-renewing and for worship resources, go to www.lca.org.au/worship/wpp
- Visit www.lca.org.au/spread-the-word to find promotional materials (bulletin inserts, A5 flyers, PowerPoint slides and social media posts) to help you spread the word about our Story of the Week.