Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. – Acts 3:1-10
Peter and John probably had places to go and people to see, but who they saw here gave them opportunities to share the gospel, as people empowered by The Spirit to be on mission.
In the general sense of the continuation of the Church, this is not just their story; this is our story. If we are to do ministry in Christ’s name, we need to see how Christ and the apostles did the work. The apostles were emulating Christ by the power of the Spirit just as Christ promised. And the whole book of Acts is about Christ!
The beauty and power of the gospel always speaks for itself. Methodically there are always new ways of immersing ourselves in our particular culture, and the method changes. To find these new methods we must have the eyes to see the need.
We see several times in scripture where before Jesus teaches he either heals someone or feeds them. It almost seems to be systematic in a way of understanding missiological method per culture. If we look at this and focus on Jesus we can then use this as a framework for us whether it’s working to build relationships or as a community trying to make change around us.
What are the needs of those needing Jesus. Do you have particular giftings that just come naturally to you?
There are two things you need to know to start. First, you need to see the doors of opportunity, then in my next blog we’ll talk about how you must walk through those doors.
Seeing Doors of Opportunity
These needs are things that we need in order to survive. Is there a child that you come across often and seems as if food comes rare? Is there an elderly person that seems to have a hard time getting around because their health needs aren’t being taken care of properly?
This need is connected to the things we need in order to feel secure in our self, jobs and resources. Is there a neighbor that has recently lost a job and you may have connections to start the conversation of new employment? Is there a counsel you could give a co-worker who is experiencing a particular difficulty such as an abusive relationship that you may be able to speak life into because you’ve experienced the same?
Making people feel like family is probably the biggest hurdle we have if we are honest with ourselves. I’ve been realizing more and more that people don’t want you to be friendly; they want a friend. Who is ‘that’ person that you may ignore, but you know deep inside they just need someone to talk to? Who is the individual around you that is hurting just because they simply have no one to talk to?
Next week we’ll talk about how to walk through these door of opportunity…