Could you considered yourself as an unofficial chaplain to those you do life with? The National Church Life survey identified Australian Baptist Christians as practical, servant hearted people who like hospitality and do not like to ‘preach’ their faith at others. I wonder if you resonate with this.
Last week I attended ‘Inspire’, our denominational conference for evangelism. I found input from Warren Crank, the founder and director of Red Dirt Church, got me thinking about our church and mission. Red Dirt Church is a movement passionate about planting churches in rural Australia. Their tag line is “simple churches for a sunburnt country”. One of Warren’s core ideas is for Christian Aussies to consider themselves as ‘unofficial chaplains’ to their communities. He proposes this because in hospitals, schools, and sports clubs’ chaplains spend much of their time serving, building relationships, behind the scenes. Most of the time a chaplain might feel irrelevant. But when the time comes, because of the relationships and service, a chaplain can find themselves leading someone to faith in Jesus.
In our relationships we know Aussies are no fans of the hard sell or religious arguments. Caring for others, living a good life, faith making a practical difference is important to Australians. This is what opens the door to for faith sharing (1 Pet 3:10-16). We can all do this; it is called normal Christian living! And we can be like chaplains, prepared to share our faith in simple, appropriate ways when that door is open. What do you think? Could you be an unofficial chaplain to those you do life with?
Jason (Photo http://ee.umc.org/)