In the introduction of Sanctity without Starch, Robert G. Tuttle, Jr. shares a conversation he had on a transcontinental flight.
“Recently I met a young landscape architect who works for a large West Coast firm. After some small talk he asked me what I did for a living.
‘I’m a minister,’ I replied.
He responded immediately that he was an atheist.
Somewhat intrigued, I asked, ‘How does a man who gets to work with nature’s beauty get to be an atheist?’
‘Just lucky, I guess,’ he boasted; ‘and why would anyone want to be a minister?’
While thinking to myself, God, this man is going to be tough, I continued, ‘Let me ask you another question. If you could know for certain that there really is a God who loves and cares for you and who makes a power available to sustain you in your life, would you be interested?’
‘You bet,’ he stated with apparent conviction.
Looking at him rather intently, I simply added, ‘That’s why I’m a minister. I want to help people just like you come to know that there really is a God who loves and cares for you and who makes a power available to sustain you in your life.’
Somewhat to my surprise – God help my unbelief – he said, ‘Tell me more.’…Although he did not know it yet, he wanted grace, and that is what I told him about.”
More and more, we are in touch with people who are resistant to the church. Our task of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world demands of us warmth, creativity, initiative, and work.
The churches of the Rock Hill District are mostly in areas of population growth. We have an opportunity to be in ministry with many who don’t know it yet but want God’s grace. In the near future, four training events are available which I believe can help us improve our connecting with people like Robert Tuttle’s new friend.
Up: Lifting Ministries Higher
September 13-14, 2015
First UMC, Clover
Creating New Places for New People
October 18, 2015
Bishop’s BBQ Bash (Pastors & Key Leaders)
November 21, 2015
St. John’s UMC, Rock Hill
Reaching New People
February 26-27, 2016
Shandon UMC, Columbia
Lord Jesus, as you taught the fishermen, Andrew, Peter, James, and John, to be fishers of people; teach us today to effectively reach people with your grace, love, and hope.