'Christianity Explored' in 2020: 3 Things I'm Thankful For

30 Sep 2020 - Chris Shaw

A couple of weeks ago we concluded our third Christianity Explored course for 2020.  Amidst the turbulence of this year around ten people have asked to learn more about Christianity through attending this course (most of these people were accompanied by a believing friend or family member).  In God’s kindness around half of all these participants have continued in some form of Bible study beyond the course and a some have come to a new (or renewed) faith in Christ. 

As I reflect on the past three courses of Christianity Explored, I am deeply thankful to God for His kindness and grace.  Here are three particular features of CE that I am especially thankful for.

1.     Gospel joy.

First, I am thankful to God for the abundant joy I have experienced through leading CE (Christianity Explored).  I am always surprised by how much “spiritual wind” I get in my sails when I share the message of Jesus with people who are not Christian.  There is just something wonderful about telling a fellow sinner that God sent them a saviour who has died for their sin.  In fact, I find that evangelism is somewhat of a double joy – for the more I speak of what Christ has done for the people I’m talking to, the more I am reminded of what Christ has done for me!  So, that’s the first thing I’d say, that I am thankful to God for the “inexpressible and glorious joy” that comes from sharing and believing in the message that saves our souls (1 Peter 1:8-9).

I find that evangelism is somewhat of a double joy – for the more

I speak of what Christ has done for the people I’m talking to,

the more I am reminded of what Christ has done for me! 

2.     Gospel partnership.

Second, I am thankful to God for the many gospel partnerships I’ve enjoyed in CE.  My co-leader Joann Teo has been a great support in many of the conversations we’ve had over this year.  Joann often knows just what example or illustration will help in a particular moment of conversation.

I am also thankful for the Christian friends and family members who have been bold enough to invite people along to the course.  Often these believers will also do the course in order to ensure the friend or family member they have invited has a familiar face in the group.  I think that kind of commitment to a person is a wonderful expression of love and exemplifies our Lord who came not to be served but to serve (Mark 10:45). 

I am also thankful to the many people at Bundy who have partnered with us through prayer.  Our compassionate God hears our prayers for the spread of the gospel and in His kindness and according to His will He answers them. 

CE has been yet another reminder to me of the many gospel partnerships that exist within Bundy and that is why I thank God as I remember my church family in my prayers for Bundy (Phil 1:3-5).

3.     Gospel fruit.

Third, I am thankful to God for the gospel fruit he has produced in those who have attended the course.  While the gospel “seed” has not yet taken root in all who have attended, there have been some who have come to a new or renewed faith in Christ.  One attender is now eager and waiting to be baptised while another is seeking to join a bible study so that he might learn what it is to live as a follower of Jesus.  We also praise God that others who are not yet trusting Jesus have agreed to keep reading the bible either one on one or in small groups. 

I love Paul’s words to the Colossians believers in which he writes of the gospel:

“All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing,

just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it

and understood God’s grace in all its truth” (Col 1:6). 

I am so thankful that I’ve been able to witness the gospel bearing fruit within these CE courses.

Please keep praying that God would continue to use this course to make His gospel known to more people within our community so that they might come into the joy of a saving relationship with Jesus.