If we are going to care enough to reach people, we must see the needs of people and we must fall in love with people.
We Must See the Hurt in Others
We don’t care because we don’t see. This world is deeply broken, but chances are the vast majority of hurt you’ve seen in this world is the hurt in your own life. You may have wept over your own hurt, but you haven’t had a lot of opportunities to weep with others over theirs, because we keep our hurt private. Our society keeps secrets and lives with isolation all around them: private cars to drive in, private homes to hide in, and private stories that no one knows. The only needs we get emotional about are the ones in the headlines about famine and war and floods. Unfortunately, those needs are not something we have much opportunity to help with. We need to see the needs of individuals. We need to see the hurt all around us. If we could see that, it would compel us to act more urgently.
Remember your life before Jesus. Remember all the benefits and the peace that Jesus brought. Think of the Christians you know and their hurt. Then take time to look into the eyes of the people you meet, to try to sense the same pain and chaos they hold inside, and pray for each person. Ask for opportunities to speak into their hurt.
Think of the soldiers who carry guilt for the things they have done overseas, who relive those events emotions and all because the trauma of the situation has given them PTSD.
Think about those people who feel overwhelmed by life’s demands and all alone, with no one in their lives who can guide, comfort, and strengthen them. Who consider suicide as one of the best options available to them.
Think of people who simply want MORE from life. Who are looking for a lasting joy. Who hope that they can find a new friend, a greater purpose, and a place to belong.
36 When He saw the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were weary and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd. (Matt 9:36, HCSB)
12 Just as He neared the gate of the town, a dead man was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the city was also with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said, “Don’t cry.” 14 Then He came up and touched the open coffin, and the pallbearers stopped. And He said, “Young man, I tell you, get up! ” 15 The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. (Luke 7:12-15, HCSB)
(Warning: You Will Need Tissues for These Videos)
It’s Personal: part 3
It’s personal 4
Brian Welch’s Story:
Fall in Love with People
Unfortunately, we must be driven by more than just the hurt in others. People don’t want to be treated as projects or medical procedures—with people just trying to fix what’s wrong. We need to love and respect them as persons too. We don’t love people because we get caught up in ourselves. We need to strategically take time to be with the people we are called to minister to and love them as friends whenever its appropriate.
10 While He was reclining at the table in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came as guests to eat with Jesus and His disciples. (Matt 9:10, HCSB)
30 and large crowds came to Him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, those unable to speak, and many others. They put them at His feet, and He healed them. 31 So the crowd was amazed when they saw those unable to speak talking, the deformed restored, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they gave glory to the God of Israel. 32 Now Jesus summoned His disciples and said, “I have compassion on the crowd, because they’ve already stayed with Me three days and have nothing to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry; otherwise they might collapse on the way.” (Matt 15:30-32, HCSB)
34 “Where have you put him? ” He asked. “Lord,” they told Him, “come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews said, “See how He loved him! ” (John 11:34-36, HCSB)
It’s Personal 2
This month we will be exploring the idea of reaching others—but it begins with a heart that is passionate about people outside the faith. A heart that wakes up every day motivated to be a part of people’s lives change. That passion is necessary motivation because reaching people requires time, practice, and lots of courage.
Why is sharing our faith quite often the scariest thing we feel we have ever done?
Sharing our faith merges fears about public speaking with risks we take of being rejected or harming a friendship. It’s extremely awkward because we ask people questions that challenge them to think through very personal issues…but it is a risk worth taking. AND if you will be brave enough to engage a few dozen people in faith conversations, you’ll work through your own fears and you’ll adapt to the rejection—a little practice will change EVERYTHING. Like spiritual disciplines, reaching people is something we get better at the more we practice it.
What’s the Goal of Faith-Sharing?
Too often when we talk about faith sharing, we have set the target at salvation. We consider ourselves failures if people don’t come to church and come to faith. But God does not measure success that way, and we should not either. YES, salvation is the biggest step a person can make, and the one that counts. It should be a BIG important target for us, but your role in a person’s life may fall anywhere on the spectrum of spiritual growth. If we measure a person’s spiritual status on a scale of -7 to +7, with zero being salvation. You may be called to move people from a -7 to a -5 or a +1 to a +3. Those moves are important. You should feel successful at fulfilling God’s role at moving someone a little closer to faith if that was God’s assignment for you, and you should be excited and pray for the next Christian who gets to lead them further along their growth. Desire to be the one to lead every person to a +7…but celebrate every move along the spectrum that you get to be a part of.
“Disciplemakers must come to realize that the battle for spiritual multiplication is either won or lost based on the specific, daily decision to pray for the opportunity to share your faith.” Operation Multiplication
- Part 1: We Were All Fish Once, We are All Called to Fish Now
- Part 2: Why We Need to Share
- Part 3: Be Bold
- Part 4
- Ask yourself, what existing relationships does God want to use in my life for me to share the gospel? Make a list.
- Pray Each Day for Opportunities to Share your Faith with those people, and try to boldly take the opportunity to talk with them.
- Then take time to look into the eyes of the people you meet, to try to sense the same pain and chaos they hold inside, and pray for each person. Ask for opportunities to speak into their hurt.