Posted By Aaron Marcelli on May 30, 2012
I used to be a part of a married couples small group in which we had a wife come without her husband. She mentioned that her husband was not a Christian and was nervous about coming to a church related small group. We encouraged her to invite him anyway and not long after he began attending the group meetings and events.
It was refreshing to see how naturally this new guy fit in and that his being a non-Christian was never an issue. He sat through our discussions of Sunday’s sermon and men’s prayer time. He even added to the discussion often and had valuable things to say. As a result of being so accepted and having a wife who encouraged him, he became a regular at church services and events. After several months of this he requested to have a private meeting with the church’s pastor to talk through some questions he had about Christianity.
I don’t know for sure where this man is now in his journey of faith but I’m really proud of my old small group and our church for loving and accepting him and then also being available to have honest conversation when he raised some questions. I think for natural evangelism, community, and spiritual growth to take place, you need both of these aspects. You need the relationship part and the truth part. The two are not exclusive.
Going too far one way causes a lot of acceptance and comfort for those searching but no answers to the questions people are asking. Going too far the other way is leading with truth but doing so in a cold environment that doesn’t draw anyone in. You need both.
Do you have any examples or stories that include both grace and truth?