It’s been a partial week into my new surroundings at Cornerstone Bible Fellowship Church, but it’s not been a week without lots of praying and thinking and pondering. One of the things that’s been a burden has been how best to reach out with the Gospel. Every church, no matter the size, should be actively reaching out. And while there are a myriad of programs and plans for outreach, a great part of the ministry of outreach to our churches should be organic. It should naturally outflow from each of us as believers in Jesus Christ. Not just to grow our particular church, but to grow God’s church. We can’t just hope that people show up on Sunday, hear the Word preached and then get saved. Each of us need to be involved in the outreach process of sharing the Gospel. On that note, I want us to consider that outreach means getting out there.
What do I mean?
Again, so much of our outreach is program oriented. Let’s create a program and bring people to it. That can be effective, but it’s fairly passive on our part. Our only obligation is to bring people to an event and let someone else do the rest. That can be fine, but it doesn’t fulfill our obligation to get out and tell people the gospel. We also have so many wonderful materials on “how to tell people the gospel” that perhaps it’s not that the telling is the problem, but the getting out that is.
As a pastor, it’s my job to not only help each one of my people to be equipped to share the gospel, but also to set an example. When I came to Tunkhannock at my last pastoral charge, Jim Jeffrey, President of Baptist Bible College, took me to lunch and said to me, “you need to join Rotary.” I thought, I don’t have time to be involved in some kind of community club. He said though it would be a great way to meet people. So I took him up on it, and found out it was a great way to meet people. I got to know most of the community leaders and be involved in their lives. It gave me an opportunity to build relationships and therefore share the gospel. It gave me opportunity not only to invite Rotarians to my church but also to share the gospel with them directly. Jim Jeffrey was right. I needed to get out there and build relationships.
Now, I’m not saying you have to join Rotary. But find some outlet that you can get out there in the world and mingle and meet and build relationships with unbelievers. Do you like to garden? Become a master gardener. Do you enjoy music? Find places where musicians spend time. Are you into sports? Join a baseball league. There are all sorts of ways you can get involved with unbelievers. Can’t do any of these things? I bet many of your neighbors aren’t Christians. Invite them over to your home for meals. This all sounds a little obvious, but how many are seeking to proactively be missional about how we get out there. Are we seeing our involvement in the community and with other people less about “us” and more about “them?” Are we utilizing our hobbies and interests and involvement in the community as avenues for ministry and outreach.
Consider this week…
- What do I enjoy to do? What are my interests? What would I like to get involved in?
- How can I use these interests and hobbies in my community somehow?
- How can I prayerfully use these getting out there things in my community to build relationships and share the Gospel with others.
On that note, it’s high time I get out there.