Matthew 28:19 says “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
First and foremost, let’s begin with the end in mind and talk about what’s really important. We are in the business of salvation! What really compares in this side of eternity, then launching someone into eternity?
Currently, institutional Christianity is known in the broader culture more for being unlike Jesus. One of the best ways to shift that perception is to esteem and serve outsiders. That means being compassionate, softhearted, and kind to people who are different than us and even hostile towards us and then meeting their needs in real, concrete and sacrificial ways. We have to remember the ultimate goal is not in winning an argument. It is not necessarily getting someone to look and act like us, it’s really about their salvation.
So if we can keep that straight then we can have a better chance of helping somebody. When we take care of first things first, other things tend to be more likely to take care of themselves. Let’s create a real relationally-committed context to invite people into versus the passivity of different forms of disconnectedness that only seem like connectedness.
Opportunities happen when we are connected and present. When there is a crisis, we can anticipate that there is going to be rejection and distancing, but we have to remain present, sacrificially meeting people’s need versus conveniently placating them.
We need to remember “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We all have our shortcomings and the more we can be real, open and authentic about that, the more it’s going to take the walls down for others. Being where we are stationed, constantly positioned to be in relationship with those who may need our help, and waiting for the opportunity to serve them and to show them that kindness is absolutely essential.
Look at the woman at the well: Jesus was clearly a friend of the sexual sinner. He did that in a kind way, in a gentle way. She was also a woman that indicated that she was seeking. As she was asking questions, she referred to Him as “Rabboni,” which means teacher in Aramaic. She was acknowledging Him as a Teacher, so she had a clue about who He was.
We have to follow peoples’ leads and be available for when a crisis hits. We can only be as truthful as the relationship will warrant or allow. Sacrificial service is where it is at. Are we willing to get our hands dirty, are we willing to get out of our comfort zones?
Remember whoever loves most, the best and the longest, WINS!