One of the most rewarding things to see in our outreach ministry is to see those people that God has allowed us to reach bringning in their friends, neighbors, or family to church. These people are people that we might not have been able to reach without our initial contact of their friend, neighbor, or family member. We can see in the bible Jesus focused on reaching the samaritan woman at the well who then went and told her town about Jesus (John 4). We see Jesus focusing on the sick who later went and told their friends about Jesus. We see that Phillip focused on reaching the Ethiopian Eunuch who many believe then went and started the first church in Africa (Acts 8). And we see that Peter focused on Conrelius, a gentile who many believe reached many more gentiles (Acts 10).
The truth is, sometimes in today’s modern times we as Christians are out of touch with the lost world. And that is actually ok. We should not be separatists or hide from the lost world because Jesus calls us to be in the world (John 17), and to go out into the world sharing his love (Acts 1) but also calls us to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil (Romans 16:19). Therefore, this lays out another truth: Sometimes it will be harder for people within a church to reach certain lost people in the world. However, in the recent months we have seen that those who God has allowed us to reach and make connections with, have actually brought in others who we have not even connected with, or who we might not even be able to connect with. I like to say we are connecting with those who can connect with those we can’t.
For example, we have been picking up a student named Julian who we have been able to lead to Christ through a block party outreach we put on this summer. Julian, who was recently lost, has many friends who are atheist, agnostic, or anti-God. However, where almost anyother person (myself included) would fail to reach these people, God has used this student in order to get many of these people in our church where they can learn about God’s love for them. Also Julian has brought his family, who do not have a church home, multiple times and they have made comments like, “we have never felt so comfortable or wanted in a church before”
Another girl we met on our winter survival kit giveaway has actually brought more people (that i beleive do not know Christ) to church within a month period than most have brought in their entire life. We are going to have to start bringing a school bus to her apartment because she seems to bring a new neighbor every week. The people she brings are definitely people that God is specifically using her to get to church as well. We picked up one of the kids she invited to church and he was rapping (and not censoring himself) in the back of our car… this kid is 5. Another person she has brought looked up at the cross we have up in our worship center and said something to the effect that Jesus was killed on the cross because he was a bad man and made a lot of people mad. Ashley, my wife, heard this girl say this and actually was able to lovingly share the Gospel with this girl and hopefully enlighten her view of what the cross stands for. Other people that have come from our connections that have connections to people we don’t come in smelling like beer and ciggarettes, and one time we even had to help a lady staple up a slitted dress in which ran all the way up her leg. It was one of her more modest dresses as well.
I am not celebrating the fact that these people have this kind of lifestyle or that they are simply gracing the church with their presence, but what I am celebrating is that God is using us, serving people in practical ways, to reach people who have connections to reach people that we never could. These people are coming into our church and allowing us to then reach them with God’s word and Jesus’ promise that if anyone believes in him they will be saved. I am extremely proud of how our church has accepted these people with open arms and have shown them nothing, but love. I think God will continue to help us make connections with those who connect with people we can’t. This inspires me and should inspire you to connect with more people in this city. Who knows who God will allow us to meet next and who knows what kind of connections they will have with the lost world.
The girl I mentioned that has brought more people to church in the past month than most people i know have in their entire life was actually reached on the same outreach that we are going to do this Saturday, Jan. 14th @ 10 am (meeting at Taco Casa). We have 130 winter survival kits that are packed with cough drops, pocket sized tissues, and chap stick that we will pass out to lower income apartments around Weatherford. Someone from our team will then ask to say a 10 second prayer (see my last blog about the 10 second prayer) with these lovely people and we will let the Holy Spirit do his work. Hopefully you can make this outreach and help us make connections with those who will be able to reach the lost easier than we even could.