For many years, I taught a seminar called “Friendship Evangelism.” The basis of this teaching was that people are much more susceptible to hear the promises of the Gospel, if they know and respect you. We all have a knowledge of the friendship of David and Jonathan from the Bible. Even if we only vague know the details, their love for each other has inspired men and women for generations.
Recently, I saw a simple–yet dramatic–example of friendship that threw me a bit. Several weeks ago, I needed some equipment at our Sunday Special Gathering program. It was locked in the home of an elder. I’d been on a trip when the equipment had been used the last time. As I came home, this program elder left town for his vacation. Our paths crossed. Everyone knew that this man badly needed a break and rest from the stress of his profession. He and I had been in contact for a couple of days regarding the equipment. But there seemed only one way to get access to the equipment. We needed to find one of his employees who had a key and have him deliver it. It seemed to be a simple situation.
However, the employee had also taken a trip that weekend; and he could not be reached. Every early Sunday morning, the elder realized that he could not get in contact with his employee. I talked with the elder on the phone. “You will have your equipment,” he said emphatically.
“Are you bringing it?” I asked.
Silence screamed from the other end.
“Please, don’t bring the equipment you need this break much more than I need my stuff. I can work thing out. Don’t do this.”
“You are going to bring this no matter what I say, aren’t you?” I asked.
“You will have your equipment,” firmly, he assured me.
Within an hour, the equipment was being mounted and my friend was laughing about having to leave his vacation to deliver some wires. I was deeply touched by this generous gesture and act of love for our members, who are mentally challenged.
This is the kind of friendship that woos people toward the God of Heaven who gave His all to deliver us from the grief and darkness of our lost condition. The question for me is no longer whether I will die for a lost generation. I’ve become more realistic in my expections.
Would I leave my vacation to enable a friend who does not know Jesus to have the equipment she needs?