By Not Known
Every church must evangelize or fossilize. Grow or die. Those are the stark options. Some churches may increase in number, but has it been biological growth (children of believers/members), transfer growth (transferring from other churches as they marry or move from one part of Singapore to another) or is it conversion growth (increase in number of believers led to faith and discipled by existing members/worshippers)? Because churches in Singapore are in such close proximity, there may be a “musical chairs” phenomenon where believers move from one church to another without transferring their membership, and this causes problems when quorums are needed eg, for AGMs. In reality the Kingdom is not expanding.
What we really need is to pray and work towards conversion growth, when day by day the Lord adds to our numbers as we live out our faith obediently through worship, works and witness (Ac 2.42-47). There was a winsomeness in the early church which created a fertile environment for the Spirit to work in drawing people to faith.
Interest groups are a possible option for befriending others. For example those into flower-arranging can get together to learn from an instructor. They can invite some non-Christian friends for a short 4-5 week course at someone’s home where the environment is neutral and cosy. After the instructor has finished teaching, the participants can try their hand at the craft, then mingle and chat over refreshments. When the ice has been broken over a few sessions, get to know the non-Christian friends better, befriend them and seek opportunities to show care or share your testimony gently. In the course of conversation, you may discover that the person’s spouse has been retrenched. You could then offer to pray for him to find a job, or if there is an urgent need to give a love gift to tide them over. Or someone else may share a marital problem or trouble with the teenager in the family. Sometimes when people start sharing, they get emotional. That would be a good time to take them to a quiet corner and allow them privacy to unburden, maybe even pray together.
Again in the course of chatting you find you have a common interest in the movies. You could plan to go together and then “hang out” to eat and shop thus opening up more opportunities to relate. What about hobbies like aero-modelling, stamp collecting, kite-flying, rockwall climbing, fishing, biking etc? All these interests can be contact points which help us relate with others over time. I don’t think the Lord wants us to be passive, wrapped up in ourselves and unconcerned for others. It may take time and effort to build relationships and then seize opportunities to share Christ, but is this too difficult for the sake of the lost? Work together with your small group or other friends. Start modestly, but do try. Love will find a way. “Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all.” (2 Cor 5.14) Don’t remain in a spiritual ghetto. Move out and make friends for Christ.