Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Kingdom of God (03/12/09)
TITLE: Within the preacher's reach
By Ed VanDeMark
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I’m a Christian and I like reading Christian material, but I rarely feel called to write to Christian audiences.
Peter was called to preach to the Jews. Paul was schooled in Jewish traditions but he was called to preach to Gentiles.
I take my faith seriously but I feel God’s leading to write to secular audiences. Truly Christian writers have trouble getting people who are far away from the faith to read what they write. My job is to bring these people close enough to the faith that they will pick up Christian material or listen to a pastor and find Jesus for themselves.
My writing is often edgy, but never rotten. I grew up in the church, my parents were strong Christians. I’d been sideswiped by the faith but other than a few brush burns I didn’t get it. I went to church when it was convenient my freshman year of college. I came in late and disappeared before anyone noticed me. I was more at home in a bar or a bowling alley than I was in church. Things remained pretty much this way until Linda and I got married sixteen years later. My main reason for coming back to church was the rule that said “you must attend Sunday worship to play church league softball on Tuesday.” I was in the right place for the wrong reason and it worked. I read a track based on the 15th chapter of 1st Cor. and suddenly I wanted salvation more than anything I’d ever wanted. Softball brought me within the preacher’s reach. Had I not gone back to church I wouldn’t have accepted a track and had I not picked up this piece of written material and read it, I would still be more comfortable in a bar or a bowling alley than in my wonderful church.
It took the lure of softball to move me close enough for that unknown Christian writer to beckon me into the Kingdom of God.
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