The lady seemed overly surprised and beyond happy that someone had come to her door. Our friend had arrived, with flowers. The lady said “Thank you so much for remembering me, on my birthday”, and shared that no one else had come to see her. Our friend had no idea it was her birthday. But God did. When our friend had asked God earlier that day, whom He wanted her to be in touch with, it is no surprise that He pointed this lady out. What a day they both had! There was no coincidence here; our friend is trying a practice called Acorn.
Acorn is a movement that seeks to connect Christians with the work God is doing in others through caring conversation. Acorn does this through missional discipleship, by involving some Christian friends and sending them out to try the acronym A-C-O-R-N;
Ask – ‘Lord, is there anyone beyond the church You want me to connect with today?’
When God Calls and reveals a person for us to get alongside,
we simply Obey and follow through by contacting them in any way appropriate.
We then just ask the person “How are you?” God is already there, with the other. Our job is to find out what God is doing and join God in that conversation. God then reveals deeper hurts, desires and opening for the Gospel.
Christians then frequently gather to disciple and encourage each other by;
Reporting what God has been doing in and through them, and by
Noticing together what God is up to and doing in the other person.
Christians are then encouraged to mentor other Christian friends in this way of life.
Michael Harvey, initiator of ‘Back to Church Sunday’, has developed this practice and many Christian lives are being changed and invigorated, instigating well over 12,000 God conversations in Scotland in 2021. Acorn is helping them in their lives, to put God in charge, to put mission first, to be faithful and fruitful.
The General Assembly in 2021 urged churches to try this practice. One of our elders saw a webinar and was so impressed with the positivity and passion, she wanted to try it too. A year later, she has become more confident in herself, more convicted in her faith and more committed to Jesus and His mission. She has started a group and is telling others. People in her church are starting to see the change in her.
Another participant shares: “On Tuesday, God gave me the name of my next-door neighbour who was in hospital. He repeated her name on Wednesday. On Thursday, I thought, ‘I’ll get my kids to write a card’, which by Friday evening had not happened. On Saturday again, God revealed her name while I procrastinated further. On Sunday, my wife said, ‘Guess whose birthday it was yesterday?’ My heart sank. On Monday the hospital released the neighbour, and the belated flowers were warmly welcomed.
What did I learn? I learned that God knows people deeply, and loves them profoundly. He sent His son to prove it. So, when He calls me to obey, love will always be the underlying motive and when I do, I will be better off. I have a lot to learn, for my sake, my neighbours’ sake, and the sake of His Kingdom.”
Paul Haringman, Mission development worker in Inverness shares: “Honestly, in 17 years of missional work in the Church of Scotland I have not seen anything as effective and powerful as Acorn. It has transformed me. I cannot wait to see churches starting to adopt this practice at large.”