We were recently privileged to hear Jordan Whitmer, of the “How to Life” movement, speak at our church. He made three key points which I thought are worth sharing with you. You may listen to the podcast here if you wish, but I will just give you a taste and some comments on what he said.
Be bold, not cold
Jordan began by describing the two minute warning in games of American football, where there are only two minutes left of the game and all the players go flat out to win or finish well. No holds barred – nothing left to lose at this two minute mark.
He seemed to suggest that we are currently in the two minute zone: Jesus is coming soon and we should not be caught sleeping or complacent.
Matthew chapter 24, verses 12 – 14 says that in the last days there will be an increase of wickedness or lawlessness in the world. Here in Australia we can certainly relate that to legislation concerning homosexuality, abortion, and even the environment.
It is not only the legislation that is the problem, but the license this seems to give to various elements in society to vilify Christians, or indeed anyone with a different point of view.
It is in this climate that we Christians should be bold enough to stand our ground and not be intimidated into silence. But being bold does not mean being reckless or careless of other people; rather we need to speak the truth in love and to realise that God doesn’t want anyone to perish.
We are not all great public speakers or orators, but we can each make a difference in our small corner of the world. We should not be ashamed of the gospel but be discerning about how and when to speak it out. This brings us to Jordan’s next point:
Reach your tribe
The How to Life movement arose from the recognition that teenagers will listen to other teenagers better than they might to adults telling them the same thing. So, the movement inspires young people (under the age of 20!) to take the Good News to other young people.
You just have to look at the impact that Greta Thunberg has had about issues of climate change and global warming. She mobilized thousands of school students around the world to demonstrate in order to try to force governments to be proactive about reducing carbon emissions and other strategies to lessen the impact of global warming.
Greta wants to save the environment so that she and her generation might live pollution free! How much more do we want to save souls across the generations for eternal life?
While the How to Life movement is technically teenagers to teenagers, the concept is not limited to young people. Who is your tribe? Business people – talk to other business people in your office. Form relationships where they trust you enough for you to share about Jesus!
The group Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) already operates in this way. As they meet for their children to enjoy playgroup, young mums can minister to other young mums, praying for and encouraging them into the Kingdom.
And I am sure that when Paul was working as a tent maker, he had many conversations about his own meeting with Jesus!
Let Jesus take control
The key to success in anything, for a Christian, is to only do what Jesus tells us to do. It is scary to realise that we can do a lot by ourselves, but it is worthless unless Jesus has told us to do it.
It is our relationship with Jesus that gives us the confidence to be bold, to talk to others, to speak in season and out of season.
Our relationship with Jesus is the basis on which the Holy Spirit will prompt us about what to say and when to say it. We need to speak with passion and seek opportunities to do so! The How to Life movement is just one avenue.
For example, I needed a new battery for my watch (yes I know I’m old-fashioned…) and I went to a shop to get it done. The guy asked if I could please wait for a couple of hours because he had a back problem and was in pain and needed to take some meds and allow them to kick in. So I thought “nothing ventured, nothing gained” and asked if he would let me pray for him. He just said “yes please”. I prayed a very simple short prayer and left.
On my return his back was great so I said “thank you Jesus” and left it at that. I will probably never know what impact that had on his life, but I thought that this was ‘how to life’ with a stranger!
Aira Chilcott is a retired secondary school teacher with lots of science and theology under her belt. Aira is a panellist for Young Writers and indulges in reading, bushwalking, volunteering at a nature reserve and learning to play clarinet. Aira is married to Bill and they have three adult sons.
Aira Chilcott's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/aira-chilcott.html