Recent stories from two North Dakota pastors “refreshed my spirit”.  At separate times and places, they told me of experiences where members of their congregations had reached out to non members through acts of mercy.  Both congregations have now welcomed some of those families as brothers & sisters in Christ. As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:6:

“I planted the seed.  Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.” 

I read somewhere that the unchurched do not want to be someone’s “project”.   Planting and watering through our life of Christian vocation and acts of mercy are our natural expressions of God’s love for us.  They reflect “Whose” we are…not what “we” do. 

“Faith is a divine work in us which changes us and makes us to be born anew of God.  It kills the old Adam and makes us altogether different people in heart and spirit and mind and all powers and it brings with it the Holy Spirit.  O, it is a living busy active mighty thing this faith. It is impossible for it not to be doing good works incessantly it does not ask whether good works are to be done, but before the question is asked, it has already done them and is constantly doing them.”                                    Luther’s preface to Romans.