I’m going to admit it, I feel like a bad Christian sometimes. A lot of times. Why? Because Church Culture has created this “Perfect Christian Checklist” and I just never seem to get those things checked off.
Read your Bible every day? Nope.
Never utter a cuss word? Eh. Usually, but now and then…
Tithe at least 10%? Yeah, I’m pretty good about that.
Donate to missions? Well… depending on our budget.
Go to two or three different Bible studies a week? Not even close.
Share your testimony? Yes, I do that pretty well.
Lead someone to Salvation? No. Never. Not in the 11 years I’ve been a Christian have I ever done this.
You see, I know God wants me to share my faith. God wants me to preach His word. God wants me to encourage giving your life over to Christ. And all of these things are extremely important.
But God also wants us to help lead others to Salvation. We don’t save people, but we can help guide those who don’t know what to do, what to say.
And I’ve never done it.
Why? Because, for me, that is one step too far into someone’s personal bubble. Maybe I’m still scared of rejection myself, maybe I don’t feel worthy to let God use me in that manner, I don’t know.
This past Thursday, I was giving the message for Celebrate Recovery, and it was the lesson on Step 3, turning your life and will over to your Higher Power, Jesus Christ. At the end of the message, I was supposed to lead the group in a prayer for salvation in case someone decided that night to give their lives to Christ.
I delivered this message with all I had and I could feel the Spirit running through me, all up until that moment for the prayer came. I went through with it, but it was difficult. And, much to my shame, I didn’t expect a single person to come to Christ, especially in a room of only about 30 people.
Praise God that my pessimism couldn’t extinguish God’s firepower.
Four people accepted Christ that night.
I had never lead anyone to salvation before, until that night.
And I still feel like a failure, because I didn’t trust in God’s power. I was arrogant enough to think that I really had anything to do with someone else’s personal relationship with God. It was almost as if I was expecting God to fail, or even betting against him.
But you see, the Spirit moves where it wants to, and it’s up to us as individuals to open up and let God in. Anyone else involved is merely commentary. Testimony. But the message is so much stronger, so much more powerful, than the speaker.
We are called to preach, called to testify, but we are just one piece of a huge puzzle. Sometimes, we’ll be blessed enough to see it all come together and experience someone else getting saved, but most of the time, we’re just planting seeds and nourishing soil, while the bloom might not come for a few more seasons.
So, in reality, I didn’t lead these four people to salvation. I was just lucky enough to be around when everything finally came together for them.
But, I have to admit, it’s nice to see that kind of change happen right before your eyes.
And even though I’m disappointed in myself for not trusting God to move in that moment, I am honored that He still lets me be a leader to others, and I think this experience is going to change my attitude moving forward.
Sometimes being a “Good Christian” is just about shutting up and letting God do His thing.
I rejoice that I have four new brothers and sisters in Christ today, and I hope you’ll rejoice with me.
Matthew Coker is a Media Director at a church in his hometown, where he also is a leader at a Celebrate Recovery program. He’s a huge comic book nerd, Whovian, and Greendale Human Being. Matthew and his wife live in New Mexico.