Archive for August, 2013

The Christian “Bubble”

August 30, 2013

Hey everyone,

I thought I’d kick-off my return to T4E with a post that means a lot to me personally. I know I’m not the only one who struggles with it though, so hopefully someone finds this helpful.

Many of us have heard the term “the Christian bubble.” Sometimes it’s used more specifically to refer to our churches, Christian schools, primarily Christian neighborhoods, etc. Basically, it means a sphere of friends or a place of interaction that is pretty isolated from the secular world.

I am a student at a small-ish Christian college called Cedarville University that is 20 minutes away from the nearest civilization. I definitely live in what we here like to call the “Cedarville bubble.” I don’t interact with unbelievers on anything close to a regular basis. Sure, it’s great to be surrounded by fellow believers with whom I can worship daily. But how am I supposed to be a light for Christ in this place full of other lights?

This is a question that many have struggled with–especially those whose normal interaction is limited to (Christian) school/church friends. I too have struggled to find out what God would have me do during my time in the Cedarville bubble.

Just a note: I don’t intend any of the following thoughts to make anyone feel guilty. I’m simply saying what I’ve learned from my (admittedly limited) experience and what I feel God is laying on my heart.

The Great Commission never goes away, despite our circumstances. This might seem obvious, but if you think about it, many of us tend to use our bubbles as an excuse not to evangelize. I’ve been guilty of this time and time again. I’ve thought many time, “Well, I really don’t interact with non-Christians on a daily basis. I’m sure God will bring some into my life eventually. For now I’ll just prepare myself for that.” This, however, is entirely the wrong attitude to have. God wants us to be always fulfilling the Great Commission! We don’t get a break because of our life situation! So we need to find out the best way to live out God’s command from within the bubble–or find a way to get out of the bubble altogether.

I don’t want to leave you on that note, so I do have a few ideas on how we can make this work. First of all, we all know at least one person who does not have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. It might be someone whom you recognize as being only a nominal Christian. Jesus tells us that we will know people by their fruit, so, while we cannot judge a person’s heart, it is often quite apparent when someone is only pretending to be a Christian. However, it is more than likely that you also know at least one person who doesn’t even claim the name of Jesus. Think about it for a bit. I’m sure someone will come to mind. Even if you don’t spend much time with them, they need Jesus too, and you do have a connection to that person.

Secondly, you are not trapped in whatever bubble you inhabit. For example, while I live at Cedarville, I can leave campus. I have a car. I have friends with cars. There are a bunch of different ministries with vans. You all may not have quite that level of opportunity available to you, but I’m sure you have at least one. Don’t wait for God to bring unbelievers to you. Sometimes He does, and it’s awesome, but most of the time we have our own responsibility in the matter. Be intentional about finding opportunities to get to know non-Christians! Talk to people in your neighborhood. Find a ministry you can join. Trust me, there is a way in pretty much any bubble to find a way to get out.

Lastly, though it may have sounded like I was deriding “preparation” as an excuse for inaction before, that’s now what I intended. The fact is, we always need to be preparing. We need to preach the gospel to ourselves so that we become changed by it. We need to be praying for God’s strength. We need to be fellowshipping with other Christians who can pour into our lives and build us up. Opportunities sometimes take time to find. Prepare yourself to

I hope this is an encouragement to someone. Just remember, God always provides a way to accomplish his work!

To God be the glory forever and ever!
.:Matt:.

I’m back!

August 29, 2013

Hey everyone,

Matt here. Anyone who has paid any attention to this blog (or noticed the dates of the most recent posts) will have noticed that this blog has been… well… pretty dead lately. I haven’t talked to the others who helped me run it in quite some time (read: since before the last post was published). It’s quite sad. For a while I wasn’t even sure we were doing any good. I wasn’t sure that this blog had any eternal value. But as I’ve gone back over some of the comments that have been left–comments of encouragement, comments of challenge, comments of gratitude–I’ve come to realize that we have affected at least a few. And those few are worth it. So, if I can help a few more by restarting this old blog (by myself, though, unless God works it out so that the others return as well) then I’ll do it.

Obviously, over the period of time that this blog has been dormant, a few things will have changed. For one thing, I’m older now. I’m still technically a teenager, but not for long. I don’t intend to just quit when I turn 20, but my thoughts and insights will be significantly different. Second, I’m in college now. That means I have a lot of things going on that will probably take me away form this blog. I could forget that it even exists. But I’ll do my best to post at least once or twice a month as the inspiration comes upon me.

Maybe this is a foolish venture. Maybe I’m wasting my time. But maybe God’s gonna do something pretty awesome through this humble blog. I think it’s worth taking that chance.

To God be the glory forever and ever, amen!
.:Matt:.