01 February 2010

I Got To Preach

Every week our cell group meets to go out into the neighbourhood doing door-to-door evangelism. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be following up those who attended our evangelistic Braai/BBQ which we hosted last year over Christmas. Well, I joined our cell leader as he was following up a young lady staying at a college boarding house. We bounced but opted to speak to a young lady whose room was just opposite.

During our chat with her, she mentioned that her father had died a few months ago and she was quite confused and had a number of questions. I made an appointment to meet her the following day. I planned to attempt answering her questions. I was not aware that my meeting with her would be the toughest I've ever encountered in all my door-to-door evangelism days.

Contrary to what I expected, this young lady wasn't impressed with God, not because he had taken her father away from her and her family. Her concern was that God had allowed her father, a devoted and active man in his Christian life, to suffer so much in the months leading to his death. Apparently her father had a tumor in his belly which the doctors miss diagnosed. They spent time treating a problem that didn't exist and in the end, when they finally pinned the real problem, it was too late. About 2 weeks before he died, he could not even speak.

This young lady told me openly that she no longer really cared about pushing hard in life but just lived each day as it came. She had lost her drive and will. Her father's relatives had not made life any easier, they had been a source of much pain rather than comfort.

The ball was finally in my court, what was I to say to this young lady? How was I going to "defend God" while maintaining sensitivity to her feelings. I stammered and flipped through my bible and stumbled my way through some sort of explanation.

I knew, though, almost immediately, that this young lady felt the way she did about God because she did not understand God's holiness and man's sinfulness. But I really struggled to make my point and she was certainly not convinced. I quickly discovered how much I needed to study this whole subject and be better positioned to respond to such questions.

During our conversation, I received a call from the leaders of a fellowship at DK (David Kaunda High), they wanted me to share a song or two at their meeting the next day. I asked to meet them that same day just to find out who the new leaders were and what they had planned for the year, etc.

I made my way over to DK as soon as I was done with my struggled chat with the young lady. There is a need for sound gospel preaching at the DK fellowship and so I am always keen to offer preachers for their meetings. Fortunately they needed a preacher for the next day and I promised to come with one. I quickly got in touch with my buddy who I thought would jump at the opportunity but he said it was too short a notice. As the evening progressed, it became clear that I probably wouldn't be able to find a preacher in time, and so I decided I'd prepare something in the event that I failed to find someone.

As I sat down to prepare, I had no doubt in my mind as to what I would share if I ended up preaching. I would answer those questions that that young lady had and basically answer the question: "Why do bad things happen to good people?"

Well, I preached at DK the next evening and it was a great experience, it was an awesome experience to share the gospel with 50+ youths. My text was Luke 13:1-9. One of the things I've lacked the few times I've preached is passion. I tend to just talk but this time, I think I thundered (for my standards at least) probably because it was more from the heart than all the other times. When I had exhausted much of my arguments I said something like, "I hope you have began to see why we deserve the very worst from God." And some guys (girls mostly, actually) shouted, "No!". It was pretty interesting, but I think by the time I was done, they could all answer a humble "yes" in their bowels.

The last time I preached, though, it wasn't so great...