ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP)–When you are in the center of God’s will, you are in the middle of action. Even when you are waiting on the will of God for a specific situation, it is still action packed.
Recently, I met Bobby Watkins, a member of Bethel Baptist Church in Jennings, La. One of his first comments to me was, “I’m just an old man who loves Jesus.”
God placed a ministry on Bobby’s heart. Bobby calls it his “Gazebo Ministry.” Others might call it fishing, but Bobby turned his passion for fishing into an activity for the Lord.
On most Fridays, you can find Bobby at the first gazebo by the Lake Charles (La.) Civic Center. He brings rods, reels and bait for anyone who wants to fish. He puts his Bible on the picnic bench and then begins to attract customers.
“With their parents’ permission, I let all the little children playing on the playground next to the gazebo use my equipment to catch fish,” Bobby said. “Then I get the opportunity to share Jesus with them and their parents.”
Finding ways to share the Gospel doesn’t have to be difficult or forced. It can be as natural as identifying your passions and then doing them with people who don’t know Jesus.
According to LifeWay Research, 78 percent of people who are uncommitted to Christ would enjoy an honest conversation with a friend about religious or spiritual matters. By the same percentage in the study, people say they would be willing to listen to someone they don’t know share his or her beliefs about Christianity. Both percentages are amazing.
I spoke to a friend, Mike Landrum, by phone recently. He asked if I knew an innovative pastor for his church in Mississippi. The church is on the outskirts of a growing, college community.
I remembered the church as a rural, small church and asked about its current condition. He said the church had great potential. Many young adults are moving into the area and the church sits in the center of the new growth.
Mike told me why he, his wife and four children attended this smaller congregation when larger churches were 15 minutes up the road. He tried the larger churches but just couldn’t get plugged in. His work, as the vice-president of a growing financial services company, keeps him busy. He realized he was more likely to attend the smaller church because it was just a minute or two up the road.
“I know God has put Amy and me here for a reason,” he said. “This is where I’m supposed to serve.”
It was then that Mike began to share his heart. “I look around our church and we are missing older men,” he said. “We are reaching young to median adults, like us. But, the husbands of our older ladies don’t come.”
We talked about activities those particular men liked to do. If the church would connect this group of disengaged men with activities they want to do, the potential exists for these men to surrender their lives to Christ. At the very least, this group will hear the Gospel.
The center of God’s will is a place of action. Turn your passions over to Christ. You might be surprised to find that ministry can be a whole lot of fun.
Keith Manuel is an evangelism associate on the Louisiana Baptist Convention’s evangelism & church growth team.