I have waited a week before writing my personal insights into last weekend’s event that we hosted, “Real Issues-Real Answers” or as some preferred to call it, “The 4 Deadly D’s”. In case you have not heard of it, we (Bobbye & Tonilee) held a one-day event just for women. The goal was to bring hope, encouragement and an opportunity for help in one or more of the following areas: Debt, Death, Divorce and Depression. We invited experts in the specific fields including financial advisors, certified counselors, therapists, debt management specialists and a Christian family practice law office. Various other resources were also available onsite including our ministry team, a group of Godly women who have served alongside us at many women’s events and Bible studies. The number one goal: offer HOPE to hurting women; not just the right or righteous answers, but real, honest, open, and maybe not so righteous answers. The second goal: offer this event to women who may not know the Lord personally; in other words, make it an outreach to the community. Ah…the second goal seemed so simple, yet has shown itself not so simple at all. Why? Because some of us Christians really do not understand what an outreach to the “world” actually looks like.
Dare I say that some of our Christian friends just could not understand how we could host an event and not say that the answer is always…”Jesus is all you need.” You see, this event was not about the Christian-ese, pat answers to all of life’s problems, such as “just pray harder,” “have more faith,” or “join a small group.” This event was about real life issues that quite frankly do not fall into perfect lines of Christian doctrine. How many of us have tried to righteously work out our problems and still wonder where God is? Why not be honest from the start? Why not go out and try to help people first and then tell them that there is a God who loves them? Why not be an example of the love of Christ, instead of the one preaching about love, yet condemning your brothers and sisters? Who are we kidding as Christians? Where is our true witness in the world? My opinion…we only want to witness within the comforts of our own churches, groups or circles. And, what effect does that have? We all make each other feel good. We are supposed to edify the Body of Christ, so that we can go out and be a light in this dark world. We had Christians at this event who thought we should have been more “Christian-ese”…I think we offended some of them. We had some Christians who sat on the sidelines while the room had women in it who did not know the Lord, but we were the ones expected to preach from the platform.
The event itself was hugely successful and the women who came have more than expressed their appreciation. There are requests for future events that started almost immediately. Why? Because we need HOPE. We need encouragement. We need HELP. Jesus came and He fed the hungry, healed the sick and set the captives free…then, He offered them everlasting life. That is our heart in doing this type of event on the 4 D’s and we will continue to pray that we can help make a difference in the lives of hurting women…and ultimately lead them to the everlasting answer in Jesus Christ.