Thank God that He recently gave me the opportunity to bring a Christian co-worker to bible study. This co-worker, let’s call her Ann, was on my team, so I worked closely with her for a month. The topic of religion had come up several times in our conversations, so I knew that she was a practicing Christian.
After a month of service, the tradition at our work place is that team members will go out for an “off service dinner.” We similarly planned to do an off service dinner and set a date, which happened to be the date of a mid-week bible study I had forgotten about until the day before. I was on the verge of canceling our dinner, but since I had been reading this blog and thinking about evangelism, God reminded me that I should try to bring her to church. I was a little surprised when Ann actually agreed to come. This was a lesson for me that there are probably opportunities for evangelism all around me; I just often don’t see them because I don’t think about evangelism enough.
On our way to dinner/bible study, we chatted about various work-related things, and the whole time I was thinking, “Did I tell her that there was going to be bible study?” When I had asked her to come, I sort of couched the whole thing as a dinner that a church sister was giving, not mentioning the bible study part. Somehow, I just couldn’t bring myself to say anything to her, fearing that she would cancel at the last minute if she found out. At the same time, I felt as if I was doing something underhanded by not telling her. One thing I learned about myself from this was that I am definitely more timid than I thought, and that I am too afraid of appearing to be proselytizing.
But thank God, Ann was prepared for bible study and seemed to even expect that after dinner, there would be bible study. And I also thank God that though she was Nigerian and was eating Chinese food with a bunch of Chinese people, she was very comfortable and that the sisters and brothers made her feel at home. During the bible study, she actively participated, seemed to learn from and enjoy it, and showed that she was someone who read the bible regularly. She was also accepting of our prayers and prayed with us.
On the car ride back, we talked about our beliefs. This was the most challenging part. She was already a good Christian even by our church’s standards, and she already had her own ideas about biblical truths. In particular, she felt that all churches should be in unity despite denominational differences. In the end, we sort of agreed to disagree. I’m not entirely happy with how I explained our church’s doctrines to her, but I am thankful to have had the opportunity. I realize now that I really need to practice; if I don’t try and talk about our church’s doctrines with people, I will never get good at it.
Since this dinner, Ann and I have continued a dialogue about our faiths. Having broadened the work relationship with this co-worker, I find that I have become more conscious of my responsibility to be a Christian both at work and at home/church. So another lesson: I need to have a more consistent faith in all areas of my life in order to be able to evangelize. Hopefully, one day Ann will come to see the truth; may God grant me the wisdom to speak His word in His time.