Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Contractor Who Does More Than Put Up Buildings!

I mentioned here that today I heard a colleague who has frequent contact with the Lutherans in Ethiopia tell two true and inspiring stories of faithfulness from that rapidly growing church body. I told one of the stories in that linked piece. Here's the other one.

Several months ago, while in Ethiopia, my colleague met a Lutheran layperson who owns a construction firm. Every time this man and his firm start a project in a community, he also hires two pastors along with all of construction workers he hires for the job. Every morning, before work begins, the pastors conduct a worship service on the site.

That sounded great to my colleague. But, he asked, what do they do the rest of the day?

The two pastors go into the town and look for people who need help, whether it's prayer or some physical need, and address them. If a group of people comes to believe in Christ through the work of the pastors, after the construction job is completed, the owner will provide one of the pastors pay for one year as the pastor works to get a new congregation started.

If any local authorities question this businessperson's practices, he goes to them and hands them a Bible. He tells the authorities, respectfully, that this book will explain why he does the things he does. He asks them to read it and, in a few weeks, if they have any further questions, to get in touch with him for conversation. These conversations, like the visits of the two pastors who work with the construction projects, allow the business owner to tell public officials about Christ.

The congregational starts spawned by this man's method receive no financing from the denominational hierarchy, but initially only from one committed Christian who looks for ways to spread the gospel, the good news, of new life for all who repent for sin and believe in Jesus Christ through his business.

Not every follower of Christ can bankroll church starts, of course. But we all can be prayerfully on the lookout for ways of spreading the gospel. Learn from the example of this contemporary Ethiopian Lutheran saint: Ask God to help you share Jesus Christ every single day!

No comments: