Today’s reading is drawn from John 4:28-29, 39.
I love the way the woman in John 4 was so convicted by her encounter with Jesus that she just had to tell her friends and neighbors what Christ had done for her. My family witnessed a similar occurrence about twenty-five years ago after we shared the Good News with “Mary Ann.” Not long after giving her heart to Jesus, Mary Ann was riding around town with a friend who wanted to stop at a bar to get a drink. As a new Christian, Mary Ann really didn’t want to go into the bar, but she went anyway to keep him company.
While they were sitting inside, “Randy,” a rodeo clown, sat down beside them and struck up a conversation. Mary Ann was a city slicker and had never met a rodeo clown, so she was curious about what he did for a living. Randy explained that when someone gets kicked off a bull in a rodeo, the clown’s the guy who tries to make the bull chase him instead of trampling the cowboy on the ground.
Soon it was Mary Ann’s turn to tell Randy about her life, and she included her excitement about her new faith in Jesus. When Randy took an interest in the topic, Mary Ann invited him to meet with Phil to learn more.
My dad was glad to meet Randy and share Christ with him. Randy was convicted by the message and invited Jesus into his heart on the spot. He was so fired up about his life being changed, he immediately did what Mary Ann had done—he told others about his experience. Randy returned to our house the following week with his brothers and a few other family members. Now these people lived ninety minutes away, so this was no trip around the block for them. Their efforts were soon rewarded. As we started studying the Bible with them, the next thing we knew, all of them converted to Christ!
Since they didn’t have a home church in their town, Randy’s family would drive up to our church, White’s Ferry Road, every Sunday, bringing someone new with them each week. Before long, that bunch grew to twenty-five or thirty. We wanted to help them grow in their faith, so every Thursday night we loaded up a little crew from our church and drove the ninety minutes south to their home, where we would host a Bible study. They’d invite their friends and neighbors, particularly those who couldn’t make it up to West Monroe for our church services.
For a full year we did that and people were coming to Jesus right and left. We’d baptize folks in swimming pools at the different motels down there. Before long, that community of believers grew into a large, thriving church where Randy is now an elder . . . all because Mary Ann told one rodeo clown the Good News.