Love drives us to do the remarkable. We will give money. We will give time. We will give our thoughts and attention. We will do all of this and more, but there is an all-too-common resistance to actively seeking to talk with people about the good news of Jesus Christ. To be sure, in light of common abuses, the resistance is understandable. We do not want our faith or ourselves to be associated with manipulative, overbearing,or judgmental evangelistic tactics. With that acknowledged, though, there is a profound reality we must embrace. If we authentically love people, we will want them to discover Christ. We will want them to know and understand the forgiveness and freedom we ourselves have experienced. We will want them to be reconciled to God. We will want them to know the power of God’s presence for day to day living, and the very real hope we have for all eternity. To withhold all of this is both negligent and unloving. Paul exhorted his listeners to “Be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20). He did this not for his own gratification. He did it, he said, because “the love of Christ compels us” (2 Corinthians 5:14). Which is critical to our understanding. One of the greatest inhibitors to outreach is the abundance of exposure people have had to tactics not driven by love. There are countless reasons a person can share Christ with someone else. They may be seeking to feel good about themselves, win an argument, or impress their religious communities. Such motives may not be seen with the eyes, but they are smelled with the nose. In speaking to the Pharisees, Jesus said, “You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a son of hell as you are.” (Matthew 23:15). Jesus’ approach to those far from God was different. He was referred to as “a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” (Matthew 11:19). He dined with those others would avoid (Mark 2:15) and welcomed those they would not even touch (Luke 7:38). He did all of this and more, despite the criticism, explaining that “it is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick.” (Matthew 9:12). Jesus modeled intentional and loving relationships with those apart from God. He did this, he said, because he came “to seek and to save the lost.” With that in mind, it’s instructive that when returning to the father, he told his followers, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John 20:21). If we are to walk as Jesus walked, we will be sent as he was sent. We, too, will “seek and save the lost” as we thoughtfully, lovingly, and intentionally enjoy our neighbors, co-workers, family, and friends, and help them discover Jesus’ good news.
Spiritual Fitness Check
Training is aimless without clear goals. Spiritual Fitness checks make sure you’re training effectively and progressing toward your goals.
Signs You're Living It Out
Knows how to compellingly explain the gospel and can name a time they have done so in the past 12 months
Knows how to compellingly tell the story of one’s own personal experience with Christ and can name a time they have done so in the past 12 months
Understands barriers and objections to Christ in their current culture and knows how to address them
Can name at least three people they are actively praying for and working toward their coming to Christ
Spiritual Fitness Check
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This bible study gives a holistic look through Scripture at the Outreach outcome. Engage thought provoking questions for individual reflection and then discuss them in your Life Group or Spiritual Running Partner relationships.
Who Me? No, not me. I’m not the one you’re looking for. Yes, I heard Jesus’ job description…
"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent... Read More
We can all feel like we don't know how to reach out to neighbors and friends who aren't Christ followers and tell them about Jesus. Through this Apply you will practice using the BLESSING acronym to help you start reaching... Read More
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Our stories create a picture for others to see how God enters our lives and brings healing, meaning, and connection, rather than the rules and condemnation we sometimes associate with Him. But how do we face down our fears of others’ reactions and explain how God has... Read More
A revolutionary look at sharing Jesus with those still considering their spiritual journey by using the probing, provocative, and penetrating method Jesus used to engage others in personal dialogue and caring interaction.
How do people come to Jesus in today's postmodern culture? Not by a mechanical, linear process of cookie cutter conversions. Nor by a nebulous spiritual wandering that never culminates in decision and commitment. Over the last decade, Don Everts and Doug Schaupp have listened to the stories of two thousand... Read More