A man I talked to in a pub gave me what Hybels would call a 'defining moment' recently.
He had been watching Mr Cameron speak about 'the Big Society' and called me over as 'his priest' and this was our conversation:
Man in pub: "You're my local priest"
Me: "I am indeed"
Man in pub: "I am sure your church does loads of good stuff for the benefit of the local community that Mr Cameron is talking about"
Me: "Well [pausing for thought] a few things"
Man in pub: "I don't want to come to church but next time you do something for this community I want to help"
Me: "Well that's great and I will get onto it"
Man in pub's girlfriend : "Can I come and help too?"
This encounter gave me much food for thought. In my sermon about 'Loving our city' I waved the business card before my saints and said I would like someone to take it off me and call him with something they are doing to bless our community. You see, the man in the pub expects the gospel of grace to produce works of blessing, justice, mercy and service in those saved by this amazing grace.
He is right to expect such things isn't he?
"Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it. For if it prospers , you too will prosper" Jeremiah 29:7
I also showed them this film.