Following yesterdays post these stalactites which struck me when I saw them at Glenluce Abbey stuck a further chord with regard to mission and evangelism whilst sorting them out.
To start with there is nothing at all to see other than a drop of water seeping out from some rock. The drip drip drip of the water continues as it must, finding a way through seemingly solid rock which it encountered on the other side. During the time it takes to get from one side to the other, unseen by us, small amounts of chemicals are dissolved into the water and eventually these unseen chemicals start to stain the underside of the rock. As yet more time and water pass a stalactite itself begins to form where the majority of water drips out. The other thing I want to note at this point is that depending on the chemicals within the rock a different colour will be seen in the stalactite when it forms.
Both these stalactites are within a foot of each other on the same bit of roof, both of them have had the same water running through the rock above them, yet they are producing different colour stalactites.
What I hear you cry has this got to do with mission and evangelism?
Well firstly the I think we should always and constantly be aware that the same bit of mission or evangelism can have very different effects on different people and any attempt at mission or evangelism should include a wide variety of differing methods and styles if you are serious about reaching the maximum number of people.
Secondly we need to ensure that we don’t start any mission or evangelism process with a fixed idea of what will drip out the other side or indeed how long it might take.
Finally is this mission or evangelism? Well if we pour the water with the single intention of growing a stalactite then it is evangelism. However if we pour the water with the intention of making the stone wet then it is mission and any stalactites are a bonus.