I once heard a pastor say that he starts all committee meetings with this question: Where have you seen God at work lately?
This pastor said that at first people didn’t know what to say. However, years later, they had to limit the time given to this question because everyone was so excited to share that they couldn’t get to everything else on their agendas.
Take a moment and think: If I asked you that question today, how would you respond?
So far in my ministry, I haven’t heard this question asked very often.
I haven’t asked this question very often either.
One reason this question isn’t asked in the church is because of the creeping modern mindset that tempts us to believe that God is no longer active in the world. Sure, we read the Bible and church history books, hear stories of great awakenings, and see powerful pictures of what God has done in the past. Yet, we often relegate God’s activity and power to those distant times. Instead of expecting God to work in the present, we think, act, and live as if God just stepped back from the world at some point in time and decided to let everything run on its own like a big watch.
One reason I haven’t asked this question, or the more personal version—where have you seen God working in your life lately?—is because I’m afraid people won’t know how to answer. An answer to this question requires one to have words to express God’s actions, an understanding of what God does and desires to do in the world, and an attentive awareness of God’s active grace in their life. To be frank, the Church I’m a part of—the United Methodist Church—has done a poor job in the last number of decades equipping people in these areas. And asking a question that I know people will have a hard time answering isn’t an activity that I enjoy.
But I’m going to start to start asking it. I’m also going to help equip people to answer it.
I believe that a great place to begin this work of equipping is by creating opportunities for people to hear and share stories about God’s activity in the world. When these opportunities arise, people can hear how the Holy Spirit may be working in their local community or others’ lives, become more comfortable with the vocabulary used to share one’s faith, and take a step back and reflect on life.
So if you’re up for it, here’s an opportunity. Leave a comment answering the question “Where have you seen God at work lately?”
In this post – “Answered prayer at McDonalds” – I offer a testimony of how God has worked in my own life through prayer during my first year of ministry.
My hope is that my story and the comments below will help you recognize how God has worked and may work in your life as well.