By Bill Montgomery
I speak to you this morning as a member of the Stewardship Committee of Grace Church. The goal of this ministry is to help God’s people grow in their relationship with Jesus through the use of the time, talents, and treasure that God has supplied to each of us. In other words, it is to help Christians to grow in their commitment to be a disciple of Christ.
My belief is that God periodically communicates with us as we endeavor to become a disciple of Christ. The question has been put to me twice in my life.
His first question came to me in the crowded courtyard of a medical clinic in a poor Latin American country. It was Friday afternoon and I had been putting up wallboard in a school building for the entire week. Several of us on the construction crew piled into the back of an ancient pickup truck and went to see the clinic being staffed by medical personnel that were part of our mission. The clinic, free for the people of the town, was only open the two weeks a year when our group visited. There were about 100 people patiently waiting in line.
As I stood in awe of the help being given by the medical staff, a small, 7 or 8 year old, boy with very deep dark eyes looked up at me as if he were looking through me. Amidst the din of the surrounding crowd, he pointed to the small wooden cross and nametag that hung around my neck. In spite of the noise, I heard him speak clearly in English. “Are you a Christian?” he asked. We locked eyes and I responded, “Yes.” He nodded his head and in an instant was gone into the crowd. I stood transfixed in the courtyard of the overcrowded clinic. No one had ever asked me that question before!
I have thought many times about the communication with the young boy. God had spoken to me through a “thin spot,” that is a place and time when our physical world touches the world of God. Our encounter was a brief moment, but it was unmistakable. The Lord had asked me to assess my use of time, talent and treasure in my role as a disciple of Christ. The answer to that serious question would have many significant ramifications in my life.
The next “thin spot” occurred recently in a Grace Stewardship Committee meeting. Someone posed the question “Are you a disciple of Christ?”
I just stared ahead seeing the boy staring up at me. Again, God had used the image of boy to ask the discipleship question. Again the boy was gone in a few seconds as the “thin spot” closed. This time I had not given a quick answer. I believe the message from this “thin spot” was for me to focus on the question: Are you a disciple of Christ? I think a lot about how I should have responded. How am I using my time, talent, and treasure? How should I be using my resources in the service of discipleship?
I am thankful for Grace Church giving me the opportunity to be among the many examples of lives being lived as Christians. They are helping me to prepare for the next “thin spot,” when I am confronted by the question: Are, or were you a disciple of Christ?