It has been said that ministry involves “ordinary people doing ordinary things with Gospel intentionality.” As mentioned last Thursday, Southeastern sent a team to San Diego over the summer for gospel ministry. While adapting to a new culture we learned that living on mission in a new city can be a daunting task. However, we also found that it can be something very natural. This summer we learned that life itself needs to be viewed as an ongoing ministry opportunity. Here are a few stories that show this lifestyle as a reality. First, a female missionary shares a personal account from San Diego:
A highlight for me this summer was taking public transportation everywhere. One night myself and three of my team members took a Lyft (cab-like transportation) back to campus and the driver was a girl named Rebecca. We began talking with her and through conversation about who we were and why we were there, she asked us what our views were on the Bible and what our favorite bible story was. She professed to believe in Horus and that the teachings of Jesus were intertwined into various religions. This opened up a great door to be able to share the Gospel with her. My teammate Lauren Turner shared a story from the Old Testament and connected it to Jesus. I was able to share about Moses and connect that to Hebrews, and how Jesus is our mediator. Our other teammate, Noah answered some of her questions about the inspiration of scripture. While all the time Reid, our teammate was praying for Rebecca and for us while we were speaking truth into her life.
It is amazing to me to see how the body evangelizes together. The Holy Spirit puts different things on our hearts to say and gives us wisdom. At the end of the car ride we exchanged numbers and she expressed interested in getting together again to study the Bible. A week later we meet her in a coffee shop to study the word together. We searched various parts of the Old and New Testament to answer her questions. Through this opportunity we were able to share the Gospel with her again. At the end she expressed that we were the first people to spend time with her to answer her questions about the Bible.”
Throughout the summer we were able to build relationships and have Gospel centered conversations because we opened our eyes to those who were around us. We came to find out that most people we had conversations with were craving ‘something’, and we were able to share truth with them. Cameron Stanley was another member of our team and through a growing friendship he was able to love on the peoples of San Diego.
“I prayed to God, that He would do His will through me, a willing and ready vessel with the unique opportunity of being in San Diego for the summer. He did so mightily. It was at this point that I was introduced to Naif. He gave myself and a teammate, along with a mutual friend of theirs a ride to our church plant’s campfire on Coronado Island. That night, as we sat around the campfire, a genuine friendship began. About a week afterwards I was able to go to lunch with Naif and share with him the beautiful narrative of Jesus Christ. He was a little hesitant about this message, but continued to hang out with me. In the last two weeks of my time there in San Diego, Naif and I hung out at least four or five times a week. We became real friends. This whole time, I did my best to display Christ in everything that I did, and he noticed. The very last week there, he came to a small group with Catalyst Church and I told him that I loved him, I cared about our friendship, and because of that, I want to see him come to faith in Christ. He did not make that decision that night, however, I pray for him often and am thankful for the time I was able to spend with him while I was in San Diego. Since being home, I’ve kept in contact with him, this week he received a copy of the Bible, please be praying that he would allow God to show Himself to him through His scriptures and the people that Naif comes in contact with while in San Diego.”
As the summer continued and as the team grew more in love with the people of the city intentionality became second nature. Read about how God moved through Charisa Kelly as she was living an ordinary day.
“One of the most impactful moments on the trip happened as I was leaving to go to the beach. I was making my way to the bus stop, I was walking down an underpass, I heard a girl sobbing behind me. I turned around and asked her if she was okay. She kept sobbing. So I asked if she wanted to sit down somewhere and talk. She nodded and we made our way to a bench. She asked if I had time to listen to her. I said yes. We sat down and she told me her life story. She is an international student from Asia and was here by herself in America. She was caught in a tricky situation and felt like life was hopeless. Because of this hopelessness, I had the opportunity to share the Gospel with her. We ended up going to a little cafe and talked some more. She told me that she thought Christianity was about heaven and hell. That if you believed in God, one would go to heaven. But if one did not, one would go to hell. I told her yes, but that there was so much more.
I explained to her that we are broken and sinful people. I explained in detail the Gospel and the hope that God gives us through His Son. We also talked about the Ten Commandments and how no sin is greater than another. By breaking one, we break them all. I also shared that Christ forgives us every single time and gives us a second chance. We spoke about what unconditional love was and opened up 1 Corinthians 13. She was understanding the gospel and how it is not about works, but about what Christ did. How Christ did everything for us and did what we could not do. She told me that she would go home and think about it. After talking a bit longer we parted ways. She ended up leaving for Korea two days after. Nonetheless, I was extremely grateful for that surprise encounter.”
Does gospel ministry frighten you at times? If so, allow these stories to encourage you. Encourage you in that God is at work in the “ordinary” intertwining lives together for His sovereign purposes. Whether you’re in a cap, meeting a new friend or running late for a day out with your friends and happen upon a broken person at the bus stop, BE READY. God doesn’t always call the equipped, He equips the called. So listen, watch and obey. We are asked to simply “be present.” We are asked to open our eyes to the world around us and think strategically about how to infuse the lifesaving gospel of Jesus Christ into every nook, cranny, and relationship you have. Now it’s your turn to live life on mission. Go.
The Great Commission Studies (CGCS) is the hub of Southeastern’s Great Commission efforts, helping develop students and faculty members who are Great Commission servants of their local churches. The CGCS serves the Southeastern community in four major areas: academics, research, mobilization, and convention relationships.