Some Things You Celebrate for Others, Not Yourself
I heard a Christian radio station ask an interesting question to its followers on Twitter the other day: “Have you ever led someone to Christ? We’d love to hear your story.”
At the risk of sounding like a party-pooper, I’m afraid I’d have to put the kibosh on this if I were sitting at the table in this discussion.
The basic answer to the question — and the best one I can honestly give — is that I am certain I’ve had a hand in leading someone to Christ.
To what extent I lead that way makes absolutely no difference to me. Not because I don’t care that someone got led, but because something that personal isn’t — and shouldn’t be — about me!
I’m part of the technical crew at my church, so I have a direct hand in the production every week. Through that association, anyone who is moved enough by what they see and hear to make that decision, and there have been many of those over the past few years, may well have done so in some small part, because of my contributions to the Sunday morning presentation.
There are people who are part of the team who are far more talented than I am, and who have far greater skills than I do in the grand scheme of things. At the same time, I have at least some skills that even they don’t have.
The point is, all of us, working together, make it happen.
I try to be an encourager to those around me. I hope people might see something in me that makes them want to know more about my faith, but I’m sure that much of the time, I’m not the “ambassador” I could be.
But then I grew up in a church where a bunch of older ladies — the old “blue hairs” — seemed to be in some unwritten competition with each other for every soul they could “win.” It was such a turnoff seeing how they treated people that they couldn’t claim for their own little ledger that it kept me from getting baptized for a while. As a kid, something just seemed wrong about it, but I was too young to really understand back then exactly what was. The only thing I did know was that there was something wrong enough that I wasn’t ready to play their game.
It wasn’t until my parents had enough of that church as well and we moved to a different one that focused on helping people build genuine relationships with God rather than “keeping score” that suddenly baptism felt like the right thing to do. (And that’s when I was baptized.)
Not once did anyone at that church ever mention me as one of their “trophies.” And I’d be happy to correct them if I’d ever heard them attempt to do so.
Because my decision wasn’t about them. Their encouragement might have helped me make the decision, but I’m the one who made it.
They won’t get the credit for that.