Jesus only had one plan for introducing his message of hope and love to the entire world. He left the task with his followers. We have inherited this directive that encourages us to share his love with those who don't yet know him. It is our responsibility to bring the message of being reconciled to God to those we come across. What a privilege to be part of the dream that God has had in his mind and heart for so long, but what a challenge we find it.
It is difficult to work out how we are to go about this mission in today's world. There has been so much change in our culture. Is anyone interested in truth anymore or are we all happy to create our own and be very tolerant of other peoples? There seems to be so much ignorance about Christianity and so few people who are seeking answers through the church. Our country seems to have moved from Christendom where God's ways were known and respected, to being almost totally secular. How are we, as a church, going to break through this? How should we go about sharing the love of God and introducing people to Jesus in the world where we live?
We can't do it alone. We need each other's support and encouragement like never before. The writer of Hebrews says, "Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works; not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching." The key is found in the words, "Let us think of ways..."
When we work together as a community, we can be much more effective in reaching out to others with the love of God. I have seen that there can be more fruit this way than when we work alone or simply try to invite people to a church building. A committed group of believers who have a heart to reach their un-churched friends can keep each other accountable as to how we are progressing in our desire to love our neighbors, friends and family.
Christians living their lives in open honest relationship with non-believers is a powerful thing in today's culture. In this way, those who don't know Jesus are able to see authentic Christian living in action. They see your love for one another and it becomes convincing proof that God is real.
It is not very often that we see non-believers hear the gospel message and sign up for it on the spot. The idea of journeying with non-Christians seems to be where we are at in today's culture. Jesus taught this message when he sent out the disciples to spread the word. If you read his instructions in Luke 10:1-10 you will see his evangelism strategy. Put into the terms of community:
- Make friends with unbelievers
- Serve them. Meet their needs
- Do this as a community so that the dynamic of John 13:35 can be seen. 'All men will know your my disciples if you love one another."
- When they are ready, tell the truth about the 'Kingdom of God'
- Include them into the community of believers as they continue their journey towards God.
I would encourage you to pull together a group of Christian friends and discuss how you might begin to put these principles into practice. Maybe you can work together to #runalpha in your home, a local coffee shop or your place of business.