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.
Being passionate for the lost is not enough. As we learned last month, approach trumps content every time. We must carefully consider what approach to use when seeking to reach people around us in the world. There are three key approaches we will consider today that will inform us about how reaching people works best…and we will learn a very important truth about reaching people too…with the right approach, you don’t need to have a relationship with the person to share the gospel. Relationships are the best tools for sharing Jesus, but they are not the only good ones.
5 Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunities. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer everyone. (Col 4:5-6, NET)
A 2015 Map of the status of reaching unreached peoples:
When our heart breaks for the people of this world, both locally and globally, we will find ourselves on mission with God—sacrificing our own lives because of the size of the need. This is where it gets hard to manage tensions in a life of service:
- Deciding where to focus our time and energy to alleviate the needs in our world. We simply cannot do it all.
- Maintaining a lifestyle that keeps God pouring into us, so that we don’t “burn out” or serve needs out of obligation, rather than out of love.
- Not judging other people who have not learned about the need or been given that burden yet.
- Maintaining a stance that serve BOTH physical and spiritual needs, not simply one or the other.