In the last three years, I have found that the measure of those who affiliate with no faith continues to rise. Our society is changing incredibly quickly. So it should unduly surprise us in the way that philosophies, structures, laws and practices of living are moving away from Christian ways (which has been the dominant religion in New Zealand).
So what should our response be to this dilemma which we are facing?
First, we need to pray – especially for Godly leaders. Pray that God remove the spiritual works of darkness that are active in our land. And pray for the complete turning of people, communities, organisations and laws to the Gospel.
Secondly, our call is to be a “Community of Disciples on Mission.” Mission is so critical for both ourselves and our country. For ourselves, it is being faithful to one of the two great sayings of Jesus (The Great Commission) “Go into all the world and make disciples…” (Matthew 28:19-20).
I have been struggling with buying comfortable shoes recently (many pairs tried on). It got me thinking that my shoe buying may have some similarities to people coming to know the Lord. So many shoes looked suitable, had all the right information and assurances of being great to wear, but it wasn’t until I actually experienced putting them on that I could start to evaluate whether the shoes were suitable for me.
Becoming a Christian is very much about building a relationship with Jesus and making a commitment to Him. I think it can be crucial for people to experience His presence in coming to a place where they can commit. A bit like the experience of trying on the shoes!
Some experiences of Jesus can be “referred,” experienced through us. When we show God’s love for individuals. Psalm 84 speaks of God’s people returning from captivity to Jerusalem, and verse 6 says “As they go through the valley of Baca they make it a place of springs” (a dry valley). As we live in this arid world, may we make it a place of springs of God’s refreshing love and the Holy Spirit. I encourage each of you to think of how you can be available to the Lord in this mission. Available personally and through our life together in Christian community. This is such a vital mission for our us, our families, our friends, colleagues, and our country.
Top image credit: Photo of man trying on a new pair of shoes, from Bigstock.com, © by Yastremska, Stock Photo ID: 236234308
Mark Challies is the senior coordinator of the Lamb of God community in New Zealand.