The appeal in my church bulletin read:
VOLUNTEER COUNSELORS NEEDED
Share Your Faith, Help Save the Lives of Unborn Babies
Apply at Crisis Pregnancy Center Counseling & Services
Perhaps you’re the type of person who jumps right in when a great opportunity finds you, but I tend to move forward Not. So. Fast. I think through all the questions. Surely, I wanted to help young women facing unplanned pregnancy, but my anxious heart pounded at the thought of attempting to share my faith in what, let’s face it, amounts to a life and death matter. Would the training teach me what to say when one-on-one with someone, and how to say it in a way that would nurture their faith and help them to make a good choice? What if it didn’t work?
Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20
God gave us a great commission. He tells us to go and make disciples and teach them to obey his commands. And then he assures us that he will always be with us. We do not go into this work alone. In the counselor training program, I learned lots of helpful techniques for connecting with others face-to-face, but the most important lesson taught me that I serve as a co-worker with Christ. I can do my part and then let God do his.
God entrusts us with the task of guiding spiritual growth by (1) preparing the spiritual soil, (2) planting the seeds of faith, (3) gathering the fruit when ready, and (4) pruning back the mature plants to promote continuing growth. If we learn to meet a person in their place of spiritual readiness, our message will resonate with them and help to move them forward in faith. I’ll share more about this here on the blog and in my devotional book, Tending the Master’s Garden.
While we work the ground, the Spirit of God works behind the scenes to (1) reveal himself to his creatures, (2) convict them of offense, (3) regenerate their spirits, and (4) sanctify them by making them holy.
Co-Working with Christ
God consistently showed up in my counseling sessions. He gave me just the right words in so many different situations. So often, I knew it was not me speaking, but the Spirit speaking through me. I grew in confidence—not so much in my own ability, but because of the comfort of knowing that I could trust God to work alongside me. He would not leave me to go it alone.
When God calls us to nurture the faith of others, we can go confidently in that direction because God goes with us.