Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Gremlins and Holy Spirit

I started out calling this post "Technology and Evangelizing" which don't appear to have much to do with each other. But, they must share some common elements - both cause unexpected (gremlin/spirit) events. To wit:

This morning, the gremlins/spirits have been at my computer. Actually, they must have worked into the night because it seems that no matter how I tried to start "Tuesday Thoughts" the blog-o-sphere was having (gremlin? spirit?) interference. I absolutely could not sign in to create this blog. This followed as software gremlin from last evening: I paid for a Webinar and minutes before it was to begin, learned that my computer's software is too outdated for me to actually participate in the conversation. So I dialed up the phone number (the old fashioned way, on my way too sophisticated cell phone) and listened while watching a nice screen saver (OK, I worked a jigsaw puzzle or two, just to keep my interest up ) and took notes. I sympathize with people who get tired of trying to keep up. But, on the other hand, I refuse to give in to 21st Century technology. I will continue participating in Facebook conversations, keep writing this blog and be sure my cell phone upgraded so that it takes videos. O, and try to be kind to the gods so that the computer software can be updated .

Another sign of spirits working: This is the season of Pentecost! The season of celebrating the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the Christian Church. My monthly report to the New Church Start Committee and my conference minister ask how much evangelism I do each month. I have a stock answer, sometimes told to my congregation: I rarely (haven't yet) stand on a street corner with Bible in hand shouting "Repent." That could leave them wondering how I do do evangelism. I try to evangelize softly. For instance, I used to avoid telling people that I am a pastor - not because I am ashamed, but because they treat me differently. Now, I say it right up front: "I am a pastor, starting a new church in this area for unchurched, liberal folk ..." My conversations are low-key, quiet and (from my view) nonthreatening. So, I wonder and my committee may, is this evangelism? The answer is finally coming: yes, it is. After months of talking softly, people are beginning to ask me how to participate in the new church! In the past week no fewer than six adults and two children I have been talking to have either joined worship or have indicated concrete interest in a study group. This is the season of Pentecost! and the Holy Spirit continues to be active.

Another sign of the Holy Spirit: the congregation I pastor twenty-five percent of my time, including Sunday morning, is growing too. Now when we sing, we really sound like a group of people - perhaps off key, but full of spirit and enthusiasm. And we have as many as eight children - they sing too. Our sanctuary sways with renewed life.

Bring on more gremlins and more Holy Spirit! We are ready!

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