If Only One
August 22, 2018
By Gaylyn Kelly, Director of College and Young Adult Discipleship
“If only one comes to know you, Lord, it will have been worth it.” When was the last time you prayed, thought, or said that before you taught a class, shared a message, signed up to serve, or invited someone to dinner?
Well, I don’t remember saying it back in May when planning to launch our first Alpha class. I thought things more like, “College students will be happy that we are offering this from 12-2pm so they can sleep later!” Or, “Even if they know and walk with Jesus, I think they will see this as a valuable tool to engage with someone who doesn’t know Christ in a non-threatening way.”
I thought often that if anyone wants to know the ways not to host Alpha, then this summer’s community would be what I would be able to share about more. You see, we never had the same group–not any two weeks were consistent with the people who came. Traction and community were hard to achieve, but God did what only He would do: He took our willingness and He moved!! I came late to saying over this Alpha class, “Lord if only one comes to know you, then it will be all worth it.”
Teaching Alpha on the buckle of the Bible belt at Mt. Bethel is an interesting experience that brought out several comments of empathy from our young adults, once they watched the videos and heard the personal testimonies from the classes. There was kindness from the young adults expressed, and much discussion around living and experiencing different cultures where assumption about your faith doesn’t exist. From time to time there was a touch of arrogance with some “always and never” statements like, “I have always gone to church,” and, “I can never remember a time when I didn’t know the name Jesus.”
After weeks of watching, discussing, and eating pizza, our rarely the same group of 18- to 26-year-olds were discussing the Holy Spirit. I was explaining about Old Testament Spirit-filled moments to the day of Pentecost and the promised Holy Spirit’s arrival for all who believe. That is when one person in class that day said, “I have always attended church, but I have never learned much about the Holy Spirit or even wanted to.” There were several nods and the discussion continued after everyone stated that they did want to have a better, working understanding of the Holy Spirit.
The participant who spoke up first stayed after that Sunday afternoon. She wondered out loud if she had a relationship with Christ. She stated that she had never known Him as Savior or Lord, just someone she learned about, and she admitted that she massively assumed the Christian label because of proximity to Him. She wore the label of “Christian” because she was raised to attend church, her family celebrated Christmas, and she confessed that she knew all the rules and expectations to be a good Christian girl.
The Holy Spirit kept moving, and it was with His power that I shared about His grace, His love, His sacrifice, and His desire for her to be in a relationship with Him.
We opened the scriptures and she stared at texts from the Gospels to Romans and then Ephesians. She took hold of Ephesians 1:13, “that hearing the word of truth the gospel of your salvation, you believed, and you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.”
That day we lived out my prayer: “If only one comes to know you Lord, it will be have been worth it.” And it was. And it is.