Written by Sue Tell from Echoes of Grace
There was a time when I would have been intimidated by meeting with a friend one-to-one to talk about life in Christ.
That is a problem when you’re a Navigator staff! I used to think something like, They’ll soon figure out I have nothing to offer. But God is growing me.
In just one day a few weeks ago I saw how God could work through me—even on Zoom!
First Zoom Call
We settled at a table outside Panera last summer. Although her hair is not silver like mine, we’re about the same age. We met at church and we’ve been friends for about twenty years, but this was our first time intentionally connecting spiritually.
“You might not like me after I say this,” she began. She took a deep breath. “I don’t read my Bible.”
I assured her I still liked her and we continued.
Now we’ve been sitting across tables from each other with our Bibles for nine months. When we can’t meet in person, Zoom fills in.
On my “Zoom day” a few weeks ago we met online since she and her husband had gone to their mountain cabin for a few days.
Diving into the Scriptures and discussing the difference between check-chart Christianity and developing a friendship with God has led each of our times.
We’ve been digging into the truth of our identities as beloved children of God. We’ve talked about the importance of a trusted community.
“I need to grow in trust: trusting God, trusting others.” Her words last week made my heart sing. We’re both maturing as we journey together.
Second Zoom Call
After lunch, Ellie (name changed for privacy) and I connected via Zoom. Ellie is in her late 20s, married with three preschoolers, Navigator staff, and lives 1,000 miles away. She loves being a mom and she loves ministry.
She sent the three littles off for an afternoon rest in their homemade tent and closed the door. In our hour together only twice did one of them knock; Ellie quickly sent them back to the tent.
Ellie had texted me earlier in the week, “Truth will not penetrate my heart unless I trust it.” This principle was from a pack of cards containing “grace statements” that I sent her. She had been reviewing them in her times with God.
We started our time together talking about how she heard from God through those words. What a rich conversation.
As we were finishing up that day (rest time was over), Ellie mentioned she was using all the things we’d been discussing with a friend from her church.
“How’s it going?” I asked.
“Really well—for two reasons,” she replied. “I go over the material again and continue to ponder what God is saying to me. And my friend responds differently than I do to some of the principles, which encourages me to clarify my own understanding.”
Generational ministry is happening!
Third Zoom Call
After dinner (and “Jeopardy”) was my monthly Zoom with our two teenaged grandkids. Our grandson is 15 and our granddaughter is 13. They live a bit over 500 miles away.
I give them one scripture a month to concentrate on and we use the acrostic S.O.A.P. to discuss it.
I alternate between a verse on the Word of God and a verse on their identity as children of God. In April we were discussing Psalm 119:105.
- S: Scripture – I ask them to memorize it
- O: Observations and other references – I usually give them the cross-reference the night we connect
- A: Ask questions about the verse
- P: Practice it and Pray
- Paraphrase – this is for my grandson
- Picture – this is for my artistic granddaughter
Their paraphrases and pictures show me that they are thinking about and understanding the verse.
I don’t know if they’d call our meetings quiet time, Bible study, or Scripture memory. No matter, we’re getting into the Word of God together. I’m so honored that they are faithfully meeting with God and with me, their Mana.
The time spent with my friend from church (why doesn’t she have silver hair yet?) and with Navigator staff, Ellie, was so encouraging.
My time with our grandkids was beyond encouraging. I was so excited by their response to God I could barely fall asleep that night!
Those three Zoom calls that day showed me I do have a lot to offer others! I experienced Philippians 1:22 in action: “If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me.” What a joy to minister to others Life to Life.