Much has been said and continues to be said about the influence of the church in the world. It’s not the need to reach out to the world that’s at issue; we not only easily recognize the biblical principle but readily acknowledge the urgency of our mission as believers to share the message of Jesus. We know there are those who are spiritually lost and dying without Him. We look within ourselves and testify to the very real need we each have for the Gospel to be spoken into our lives as well.
The question therefore becomes: How? How do we share? How do we connect? How do we influence?
Because the question of many outside of Christ is: Why? Why is relationship with Christ important? Why should I seek to be faithful to Christ? Why concern myself with salvation when the odds are that eternity is decades away?
The answer is quickly found in the story of the Gospel. But the greatest need that we have in sharing Christ with others is helping them to see themselves in the story.
Maybe you’ve heard the name “Billy Sunday.” Sunday was a circuit preacher during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. He preached a “hell fire and brimstone” message. The sermon was not complete until Sunday had sweated and screamed himself into exhaustion. Thousands responded. One of the things Sunday preached was that the ideal life, and ideal end, was to be baptized and then to immediately walk out of the church doors and be hit by a truck!
What do you think? Is that the perfect life?
What we quickly learn when we peer into the ministry of Jesus is that He walked right along side of people in their journey as he ministered to them. He was constant in who He was. And He helped others to see where they fit into what God was doing.
I think Jesus talked more than He preached. He lived in such a way that God was undeniable. Certainly the response to openness to God was left completely up to the individual. But I believe that so many in Jesus’ ministry left a conversation with Him open to the Kingdom simply because they wanted to be a part of the story He was telling.
What I want to convey in all of this is that you have the ability to minister to people that I will never meet. That only you can minister to. God crafts us each to be who we are. Our task is to bring them into the story we are telling. To help them to see where they fit into what God is doing today.
Glory to God!