As we are in the process of mobilizing we either meet or get introduced to a lot of current, former, and future field workers. This is a great thing and has been such a source of encouragement to us. It is something that we really enjoy. There has been something that The Lord has been bringing to my attention in growing frequency. I have learned that when The Lord begins doing something like this I had better pay attention. As my friend Doug once told me...."don't miss the lesson."
Here is how this goes. We introduce ourselves and begin speaking about what God has called us to. Normally we mention Berlin first but then we explain more fully that we have been called to specifically minister to [withheld] people group(s) giving in Berlin with a desire to see Church Planting Movement begin immediately jumping borders. Usually somewhere along these lines we hear something regarding the statement that these people groups normally take 4+ months of friendship before they begin following Jesus. This statement is normally meant (and received) as an encouragement to 'not give up with these people.'
Yet this bothers me. It is not that I am not willing to invest the time. It is not that I think it is wrong to labor diligently and unwaveringly to see a person come to Christ. To these things I say a hearty, "yes and amen!" The issue is, I just have a hard time seeing that it played out like this in scripture.
It is true that Jesus' disciples walked with him for 3 years but then we see Him breathing on them and giving them the Holy Spirit in John 20. After that we just do not see any one laboring anywhere with prolonged periods of few or no one coming to Christ.
Now there are a number of ways to explain or rationalize this but I am not necessarily interested in coming to a resolution....yet. The question that is rolling through my mind is this......"When there is someone who is genuinely open to the message and the messenger but it takes them a long time to come to Christ, how much of that is because of baggage inserted into the process by the messenger?"
Today my prayer is that The Lord would help me to further get out of His way and to stay behind Him following instead of trying to get Him to follow me.