This last Sunday, I had the opportunity to go out to lunch at Taco Bell with two of my 8th grade guys. (Yes, Taco Bell. If that surprises you, I’d say you don’t truly know me.)
We were having a great time. We had talked about our lives, how God had worked in our hearts, the delicious burritos that we were consuming, and about the upcoming events at our church. As we finished eating, we cleaned up our table, threw away our trash, and began to make our way out to my car. While we were walking out, the boys taken interest in something that I hadn’t concerned myself with. Right outside the Taco Bell, a young college-aged guy was out holding a sign for one of the local businesses. As the guys noticed him, one of them turned to me and asked a question: “Can we invite him to church next week?” It was a simple question, and nearly as simple as a task… but for some reason, one I did not feel a particular draw to do. It challenged me. Walking up to a stranger and striking up a conversation when it was outside of the routine was odd and I almost dismissed it.
In my mind, whenever I would invite someone to church or talk with someone about God, it would be in the vein of a conversation that occurred naturally, not one that I would have to go out of my way to begin… But these two 8th grade guys were earnest about the idea of sharing our church and our faith with the young man on the street corner.
My heart had lost some of the bold earnest nature in sharing the Gospel. It had grown lax in its evangelism, because I didn’t want to be troubled to go out of my way to share Christ. It was a blind spot and one that I hadn’t recognized. It took two middle school guys who are passionate about their faith and are longing to see people come to Jesus to make me see that this past week.
That’s how working with 8th Graders makes me a better man.