I just returned from a motorcycle tour of the Harz Mountains. It was a blast! When a local believer invited me to go with him on this retreat for bikers, I had mixed feelings. I was pumped because it was 3 days on the motorcycle in the mountains of Central Germany. I was also not so excited because it was retreat planned by a local Pastor for believers who also ride. If you know me, you know I’m cautious about spending my time with groups of “already believing people.” Not that hanging out with Christians is a bad thing. No, the opposite is true. But my heart is more for reaching the lost and investing my time in the harvest field. And after 2 decades of serving as a Pastor, it’s comfortable to slip back into relating primarily to Christians. So, I geared up for this trip, almost canceled twice, and rolled out with the idea that I’d be looking for partnerships in reaching local bikers and for potential Christian Motorcyclists Association members. You know, like a recruiting trip.
But what happened was altogether different.
The mixture was, from what I could tell, 50/50. There were a couple pastors there, a German missionary serving in communist Asia, a few church members, and then just a bunch of folks who like motorcycles and riding them. My training kicked in, and I started looking for the non-believers in the group, almost intentionally avoiding the believers when God got my attention. I was sitting with two local pastors and the missionary when the missionary asked me what I did, and why I was in Germany. I get that. A LOT. After a few minutes of introduction, one of the pastors asked me what my main focus was. Without hesitation, I said, “Reaching the lost.”
“How are you doing that?”
“I’m sharing Jesus and life with them.”
“Yeah, but how?”
“I tell them my story, Jesus’ story, and invite them to follow Jesus.”
“Are you doing this alone?”
“Actually, I’ve found some local partners, individuals and churches, who are joining me and allowing me to train them.”
“What kind of training?”
“To share their story, Jesus story, who to share with, and what to do with those that say ‘Yes’ when invited to follow Jesus.”
“What does that look like?” And the conversation lasted a good hour as I shared about the need to reach the lost and not just stay in our bubble of politeness and tolerance. The missionary from communist Asia asked some questions and shared insights into what a Church Planting Movement in his asian context would look like. We agreed that the concepts were the same, but the appearance was completely different from Asia to Germany. Out of the blue, one of the pastors says, “Would you come and train my people? We really need something like that. Would you have the time to invest in us?”
As I’ve already said, I try to spend my time in the field. But I knew that God had just asked me if I would help put workers in the field. How do you say no to that? It became clear that God had a reason for me coming on this trip that was well beyond riding the motorcycle to the mountains, or bigger than finding a potential CMA member. Here was a Luke 10:2 moment. I’ve been praying that God would send workers into the harvest. Although I was there to do some recruiting, turns out I got recruited; seemingly as an answer to my own prayer.