One of the delights of being on a pilgrimage that includes some people you don’t know is that you have the opportunity to get to know them while travelling. So one day, when someone I didn’t know was sitting across the aisle on the bus from me, I said, “Tell me a story.”
Among the things this young woman told me was how she got involved in the congregation in which she participates. Much to my delight, it was through the gentle influence of a mutual friend.
This friend would care for her children, and would invite the kids to sing Bible songs and learn Bible stories while in her care. And as time went on, and it seemed appropriate, she would make soft invitations – to church events, to fill Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes, to come to Christmas services, then Easter services, and then, well, she got involved whole-hog!
A whole family came to know Jesus because of the kind words and simple invitations of a Christian who cared.
Think of the gentle influence you may have…and think of the people over whom you might have it!
“…if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way” (1 Peter 3.15b-16a, NLT).