Sacred Agents #106

More of a Heart than a Science

My first death threat came in Year 8 at school. I remember the exact words: “Oh I could kill you, Andrew.” Now many an inconsequential thing gets said in schoolyards, but this came from Alex. Alex was in Year 12. Alex was living with our family as an exchange student. And most frightening of all… she was Swiss.

What was it that put me in the assassin’s crosshairs? How did a young teen get so deeply entangled in international intrigue? I’ve never told a soul in the decades since, but between you and me, it’s time to tell my story – even if it saves just one other from that kind of alpine stare-down.

I had walked into the school building in front of her and just let the door close behind me.

It was a harsh way to learn the social rule that if someone’s within 5.3m (I’ve since worked it out) then you need to wait and hold the door open for them. Alex, if you’re out there, your trip Down Under was worth it.

Sometimes holding the door open for others is smooth and easy. Sometimes it’s gangly and becomes a weird awkward squeeze. But people don’t mind the technique, they just appreciate the effort.

Which of course gets me wondering about how we enter God’s kingdom. In the wonder of it all, it can be easy to forget the door behind us, and anyone else, Swiss or otherwise, who might be near.

There’s a lot of methodology you can learn, lots of training that churches can offer, for helping others to enter God’s kingdom. Thank God for such great resources. At Crossover we’re always looking out for them. But here’s the thing: If we don’t have it in our hearts to care about others and their need for Jesus, if we don’t have it in our minds just how badly he wants them, then all the best training and fine resources in the world will somehow ‘not work’. Because sharing Jesus is more of a heart than a science.

I’m not saying to throw out training and resources, God forbid. But if you want your church, your gang or yourself to get real about sharing Jesus, it may be best to hold off conversations about how and first talk about the whether. People only need tools and technique for something they’re actually prepared to do.

For most of us – let’s start by crawling – are we even seeing those within 5.3m of the door? From there we can learn to look further down the road and prepare to run.

Crossover exists to Help Australian Baptists Share Jesus. We rely entirely on the grass-roots support of Australian Baptists – particularly the annual Easter Offering. Please help us make a world of difference!

Andrew Turner is the Director of Crossover for ABM and author of Fruitful Church and Taking the Plunge