The ministry of John The Baptist is one that has always spoken to me. John’s ministry simply was to prepare the way for Jesus to come and usher in His kingdom. John did not focus on methods or programs, but just simply lived a life that prepared the way for Jesus. John 1:6-9 says this:
“There was a man named John who was sent from God. He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but he came to witness about the light. The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.”
Later on Jesus says that John the Baptist was the greatest man ever to be born of a woman. That’s a pretty great title!
So what can we learn from this?
John was considered great because he paved the way for Christ to do His work. He was a forerunner of Christ. I wonder how many churches would be transformed if we had more of a John The Baptist Characteristic... to be focused on paving the way for Jesus’ kingdom rather than focusing on budgets, church attendance, and salvation numbers.
To truly transform the church to be the light in the dark world that we are called to be we need to start focusing more on simply paving the way for Christ. Reaching out with practical acts of service and loving others with no strings attached achieves this goal which makes us into a type of John The Baptist. Jesus says in John 6:43 that no one can come to Him except those who God draws. I am convinced when we step out and live outward focused, kingdom minded lives which are constantly showing God’s love in practical ways, God’s kindness moves through us to prepare the way for Jesus to lead those we are serving to repentance (Romans 2:4). When we do this we are simply testifying, like John, to a dark world that there is a Light and His name is Jesus! People see Jesus more clearly when we serve them with no strings attached and tell them that we are doing this just to let them know Jesus loves them!
One example of this comes from a man that received a cold drink on a hot day from us. He wrote our church and said, “I have never seen Christ more clearly from a group of Christians than when i received this free drink and act of kindness.” This man was not even from our city. One of our ministers was facebook friends with him and decided to look him up. What she found was that after he received a free drink from us, he went to a special event at a church in his hometown and decided to follow Christ as his savior that day! He received a drink from us on a Saturday and accepted Christ that next Friday!
My point is this: God allowed our church to be a John The Baptist church where we simply were allowed to pave the path for Jesus to save a man who was in darkness. I am blown away God uses imperfect people to lead others to the one that is perfect, but He Does! As individuals and as churches lets focus on that… Paving the way for Christ to do His Work!