“Don’t try to recruit people who you think will make good Christians; reach people”
That was a line from the sermon I preached yesterday. To be honest it is kind of offensive even to me. Why? Because at times I find myself trying to find the perfect fit for our church, faithgroup, group of Christian friends, etc., instead of making it a point to reach people. Here are 4 points to ensure you aren’t getting caught up in the trap of categorizing people before you broach the subject of Jesus.
1. Don’t let your differences deter you from conversation
We have all done it! We have avoided talking to people about Jesus because “we didn’t have anything in common.” In John 4 Jesus and the Samaritan woman could not have been more different. Jew vs. Samaritan (which was a huge deal…..sort of like a biblical civil war between the two). flawless vs. flawed. perfect vs. possible prostitute. They were incredibly different, yet Jesus INITIATED the conversation with her. Don’t let your differences (long hair, beards, piercing, tattoos, history, reputation) keep you from sharing the love of Jesus with someone that Jesus loves.
2. Are they a set destination?
In life it’s easy to get caught up in daily living and place reaching people on the back burner. But we Christians wouldn’t do that! Reaching people is a priority, it just has to be the right time, right place, right weather, right month, right song in the background, ………….etc. But we want to reach people, right?! That’s the problem! We can want all we want but until we are strategic and intentional with the way we reach people. We will continue to WANT to reach people long after the opportunity has come and passed. Jesus didn’t want to go to Sychar to talk to the woman at the well, he strategically and intentionally went there and changed her life when he could have traveled a different route to reach Galilee.
3. Don’t assume
All analogies and word games aside, if you assume that people already have a relationship with Jesus you are apt to miss many opportunities. Many people make this mistake with people who look like they have it all together, good job, clean, nice care, good kids, good marriage, etc. However, when the majority of news that is being fed to society is negative (some studies show up to 71% of news broadcasts have a negative spin) people need to hear about the positives that Jesus can bring to the table!
4. The pen is NOT mightier than Him
When Jesus explained that this woman could have living water she immediately responded with concerns about laws and traditions. This is my favorite part of this passage because Jesus explains that it is not about rules, regulations, laws, traditions, theories, theorems, or cultural customs. He says it is about worshipping God in spirit and in truth!
Jesus isn’t an icebreaker of conversations. Jesus is THE icebreaker of all conversations. Be strategic and intentional about reaching people today.