I haven't said it here, yet, but I will be saying it often. As a church we have a serious problem that is affecting our ability to be what God has intended us to be. That problem is that we don't cultivate a approach to those out of Christ that values relationships. If we can't teach someone theology we just don't seem to know what to do. We don't understand how to visit someone's home and connect with them on anything other the doctrine.
Think about it. When was the last time you had some one do a training on how to just befriend someone? Or how to connect with someone in their home around something other then a Bible study? I know that there are exceptions, but I am talking the exceptions I'm talking about the rule. I have been just as guilty as anyone with propagating this idea in the past that we need to find people to study the Bible and if they aren't interested then we need to keep moving because anything less is just a "devils rabbit". How could I have been so blind?
As time goes on I will be exploring some of the reasons why I think this culture has been cultivated in our church for so long. But right now I want to give you some hope, hope that there is a better way. There is a way where we can visit individuals at their homes, show concern for them, gain their trust and open the door for them to meet Christ.
Simplicity operates under the philosophy that Christ's method is to meet people, find out what their needs are and strive to meet that need for the sake of meeting that need in the name of Christ. We don't help people to try to get a study, we don't help people so they will come to church. We help people because that was the model Christ left for us. The promise is that if we meet the needs, show concern, in our actions show that we desire only good for all people. Then, after people know that this is not just what you are doing but who you are, you invite them to join you in "The Way".
A quick confession. I am writing this during church, don't judge me!
When I arrived at church today my friend Al who by the way is getting baptized, today, came up to share a story with me and the team. Al has been going out into the community with the team for several weeks now. About two weeks ago he met a gentleman at the door and struck up a conversation with him and in the course of that conversation found out that this older gentleman was in need of an air conditioner. Al took it upon himself to find him a window unit and went to drop it off. This week he dropped by for a visit, the man greeted him warmly but wanted to know why last Saturday when he was out visiting his neighbors he didn't stop by to say hello. Al apologized and they began to talk, the man asked Al if he could bring him some literature about Jesus and told him that he is planning to visit the church in the near future.
In the past while doing bible work I have worked long and hard to present reasonable biblical arguments, ultimately, so that someone would come to church with me. Let me just say that this story is not an exception it is rapidly becoming the rule of ministry here in the city. "Christ's method alone will bring TRUE success in reaching the people."