As I sit here and reflect on what has happened in my life over the last month, as I look at the ways the God has moved through my life and my family’s, I am in awe of the great God that we serve. We serve a loving and wonderful God. Most of you are aware that the youth group and my family went on a mission trip over spring break. We served in many capacities and felt God's love and guidance throughout the trip. We were blessed to show others the love of Christ. Throughout the trip Jill and I would talk about how we could easily be doing what we did in Santa Cruz at home. Those discussions with Jill have left me thinking and praying. What are we doing at home to reach those that need to see the love of Christ? Why do we need to go on mission to share the love of Christ? And the answers to those questions are: not enough and you don’t!
You see too often we take the backseat approach to evangelism. We take the let's teach great lessons on Sunday and let's sing beautiful worship songs and we hope the people will hear about it and come flooding through our door. I have learned the reason that sharing the love of Christ is easier on a mission trip is because we are out of our comfort zones. We depend on the Holy Spirit to lead us more when we aren’t comfortable. Do you realize that according to a recent Gallup poll less than 40% of Californians identify as being a Christian? California has the largest population of any state! And we all know that identifying and being a true follower of Christ are two completely different statements. That leads me to believe that the number of true Christ following christians is far lower than 40%. So how do we do it? How do we reach others and show them the love of Christ?
I am reminded of the story of the woman at the well in John chapter 4. I look at this story (and it's one of my favorites) as an example of how to reach others. Let's first look at Jesus. He was intentional in his meeting with the woman. He knew when to be at the well and knew he needed to meet her alone. He was an outsider. Jews didn’t pass through Samaria. He was out of his comfort zone. Now lets look at the woman. We all know what her stigmas were. She was a Samaritan woman who was an outcast amongst her people. She was a sinner who needed to be shown love. Christ knew her and loved her. He was willing to be uncomfortable to meet her where she was; to meet her in her need. He addressed her sin but didn’t condone her. His example shows us that we don’t need to condone people sin in order to love them. The best part of this story is the end. The woman left Jesus and ran back to town and many who heard her testimony were saved.
Expecting people to come to church just because we have a great teacher and great worship isn’t going to get butts in the seats. We have to address our biggest weakness as evangelists, because we are called to reach the lost, we as Christians today are too comfortable. We need to be intentional with who we meet and who we share Jesus with. Jesus went out of his comfort zone to meet someone in their need. And because of his actions with one outcast who needed to be shown His love many were saved. Lord help us get messy for you. Help us depend on you in our need so that we can reach the lost in their need.