A few weeks ago, when Learner was just getting started in his studies, he received this email from a previous acquaintance:
“I barely know you, yet you’re the ONLY Christian I know in your area. So, I’m writing in hopes that you can help. A friend of ours moved there last fall to attend chiropractic college. He is not a believer, but IS a seeker, coming out of a Mormon/Catholic background. When he lived here, he would attend church with us and really liked it. He wants to get plugged into a church there but doesn’t have the first clue where to start. Neither do I. In your time there, have you found a church or two that I might suggest to him? I so appreciate any help you can offer. Hope you’re adjusting well to seminary.”
Wanting to help, Learner responded that he knew of several good churches and was happy to recommend them. Better yet, he replied, he was glad to invite the friend to go to church (though Learner and his family – more on them soon – had only been here for a week). His guess was that it would be better for the friend to make a connection personally before wandering through a slew of churches when he wasn’t even a believer yet. He might need someone to walk along with him, process, ask and answer questions, and be a friend.
A week later, another email from the initial contact:
“He responded quickly – and positively! – to the possibility of hearing from you, being invited to church, talking about spiritual things, etc. He is completely open and I think looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks again. Whatever the outcome with him, I’ve already been immensely encouraged by your heart to reach out.”
So now it’s up to Learner to follow through. And while part of him has high hopes for the opportunity of ministering in some way to this “seeker,” part of him is skeptical that anything might come of it (remember how I mentioned he holds his idealism in tension with his realism, rarely letting one get the better of the other?). Well…
I’ll let you know how it goes.