Arriving at the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) meeting, it was easy to see everyone was excited about something. Curt and I took our places, each of us talking with the people already seated alongside our two empty chairs.
“Hey, what’s all the chatter? Something about to happen somewhere?” I had asked Pam as she was often in-the-know on matters related to IVCF activities.
“Yes, there, certainly, is something happening. Or, I should say about to happen.” The sparkle in Pam’s eyes was matched only by her rapidly moving hands that just must orchestrate her conversations. Talk about a bubbly young lady! “The New Men are coming to our campus! I can hardly believe it myself!”
“At the risk of sounding totally ignorant of current affairs, who in the world are ‘The New Men’?” I flipped through my mental index but the name hadn’t been recorded anywhere.
“Oh, The New Men is the name of a Christian band out of Seattle. They are university-age musicians who go around playing concerts and preaching God’s Word in the process. They’re great; you’ll love their music!” Before I had a chance to ask questions, the IVCF President came into the room and began calling the students to order.
“Okay, everyone, it sounds like some of you have heard the news; The New Men are coming to our campus. They have asked us to volunteer to help pray with folks who hang around after the concert. Before we break-up into our Action Groups and Bible Study, I’ll give you the details and you can all check your calendars to see if you can help.” Dates, times and other kinds of volunteer needs were enumerated. “We’ll have a meeting next Wednesday, right here, for all who can stick around to pray with people after the concert. The band members will be with us to tell us a bit of what to expect. Don’t worry if you’ve never done this before, it’s just about helping someone talk with God who might never have done it. We can talk more about that Wednesday, and you can decide after that if you want to help.” We were then dismissed to Action Groups, so Curt and I headed downstairs.
It was hard to concentrate on the Bible Study topic for the evening, due to the excitement over the upcoming concert. Everyone just wanted to talk about that, really. When refreshment time rolled around, the various Action Groups came together again and, as one might have expected, all the chatter was about The New Men.
Many students expressed reservations like Curt and I had. We had never prayed with anyone besides people we knew well, and they were few in number. It was just all so new to us. In any case, everyone did agree to attend the concert as many times as they could on the dates the band was playing. We were asked to bring friends who didn’t know Christ with us, but this was a bit scary when we’d never heard the band. We didn’t know how heavy-handed their approach might be. We’d go to one concert first and see.
Joining the kids leaving the IVCF House, Pam grabbed ahold of my arm at the door. “Hey, Sojourner, see you and Curt on Wednesday?”
“Uh, maybe, I’m not sure. We’re gonna talk it over. I mean, we’re really not ready for praying with strangers, ya know. But, Curt played in a band so we’re planning to come to the concert, at least. I’ll let ya know about Wednesday.” Pam nodded her head, still smiling and speaking enthusiastic words of encouragement as Curt and I waved goodbye from the curb.
By Wednesday, Pam had convinced me to attend the meeting, promising no commitment to pray with folks after the concert would be asked of anyone. Curt didn’t buy that so didn’t come. My head was spinning by the time I left the meeting; I felt like they were speaking a language foreign to me.
Phrases such as, the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, speaking in Other Tongues, receiving spiritual gifts, receiving words of knowledge for someone and there being more than one baptism rocketed right over my head. What in the world were they talking about anyway? Well, one thing was for sure, I wouldn’t be praying with any strangers after the concert. Humpf! I didn’t have a clue how to understand these phrases and terms. Was there some kind of a manual to study or something? A special dictionary?
Seeing Pam as I crossed The Oval on my way to class, I latched on to her for a second. “Where can I find the phrases they were talking about in that meeting?” Neither of us had any time to talk but Pam told me to read my Bible, I. Corinthians Chapter 12 for a start. I did read it but it created more questions than it answered!
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