One of our newest German network leaders, Jonas*, asked me to visit Erik*, his friend and business associate. I presumed Jonas wanted me to help Erik consider his life calling or a ministry project he wanted to develop.
As I picked Erik up from his office for dinner I asked him why it was he was sitting in the car with me, a complete stranger. He stated that Jonas had told him, “You need to meet with Tom.” I replied similarly. I asked Erik what he wanted to discuss during our time together. “Spending more time with my young family as work is too consuming, and…prayer.”
He continued that he wanted to bring prayer into his work with clients and into his family more. I nodded, assuming that, like Jonas, Erik was a young Christian businessman who wanted to grow in his faith.
But then he said he wanted to better understand the God that Jonas knows, whatever that force may be. At that point, I realized that this was going to be a different sort of conversation.
I asked Erik if he knew the name of the God that Jonas prayed to. When he asked what I meant, I said, “We’ll come back to that.”
Four hours later, having talked our way through world, Biblical and Christian/Church history, the challenge of philosophy to yield a truly “good person,” and his own inability to live a good life, Erik readily asked Jesus to be his God and Lord. We prayed the important prayers for such a moment, I told him about his need to be baptized, to start reading Luke and Acts with Jonas, and to become a member of Jonas’s Christian community.
The value of this event extends beyond Erik’s personal decision; Jonas and his community learned a very strategic lesson from Erik’s surprise commitment. There are people like Erik in post-Christian, postmodern Western Europe that are highly educated and socially active, and who want to know Jesus, receive his Lordship and become part of his family. As Jonas is a veritable Pied Piper in strategic circles in his region, I suspect Erik’s decision is just the tip of the iceberg of all that is to come.
*names have been changed
This is just one story out of many that God authored in 2017 through the work of CRM staff around the world. Our staff reported 23,596 new followers of Jesus this past year! You can read more about the impact of CRM’s mission in our Annual Ministry Report.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tom Middleton leads a CRM Ethne initiative called Mission Entrepreneurs International, which finds, develops, and catalyzes mission leaders and teams, empowering them to start new ministries around the world consistent with their unique callings. Tom and his wife Karin live in Conifer, Colorado, with their two girls.