Sacred Agents #111

The Middle Sister's Mission

Here’s an exercise your group of sacred agents might find helpful: Revisit Jesus’ Parable of the Lost Son, but this time insert yourself into the family as the Middle Sister. Let’s walk through each scene of the story and ask the same set of questions in each setting:

Scene 1: Imagine that on your bicycle, you catch up with him on the road heading away from home.
Questions: What does he have in mind? What does he have in his heart? What would you say to him? How might the conversation go?

Now consider the same questions for each of the subsequent scenes:

Scene 2: Now imagine that with your helicopter, you drop in on him in a distant city, partying hard.
Scene 3: Now imagine that with your 4×4, you find him feeding pigs on a farm during a famine?
Scene 4: Now imagine that on your e-scooter, you meet him on the road heading towards home.

(You might want to imagine conversations with Older Brother too, and conversations with Father as the story unfolds.)

But a key aim of this exercise is to point out that although these are four very different conversations, they are all evangelism. They all speak deep truth with deep love. But they are quite different. And some of the conversations are easier than others.

It pains me that when many Christians think of evangelism, they seem only to imagine Scene 1 and its difficult conversation. When they hear talk of ‘ramping up more evangelism’ their hearts sink at the idea of running after people who are hell-bent on escaping the Father, with little chance of (immediate) success.

But we need to be able and willing to share our good news with people in each and all of the scenes, and Scene 1 conversations will be only a small part – because only some of God’s lost children are in that mode, and because those particular conversations tend to be short.

What happens if we only have Scene 1 scripts? How might it go if we give our Scene 1 chat to someone who’s living Scene 3 or Scene 4? And how does one tell which Scene another person might be in? Let a great discussion roll.

In short, we need a broader imagination of evangelistic conversations, and to recapture just how good and powerful and wonderful they can be, and just how important they are to actually have.

Please support Crossover to help Australian Baptists share Jesus more freely, more effectively, more lovingly, more confidently, and just more!

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

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