It never ceases to amaze me the wealth of resources and knowledge we have been gifted with as a Church. We have insights into things like prophecy, health and the Sabbath. We operate a prominent health food company, hospitals, educational facilities and television networks, just to name a few.
There are times when we can come across looking so polished and brassy that it freaks that group out.
But I can’t help but notice something that deeply saddens me. It’s not that there is anything wrong with all of the resources we have been blessed with, and we are great at using them to reach people with a basic belief in God. But more and more I am aware that we don’t seem to have as much success reaching the millions who don’t know Jesus at all. Maybe it’s because we don’t know how.
I must admit, a person usually needs a crisis of sorts to feel a need to seek the face of Jesus, and that sometimes our part in the situation is to sow rather than reap. But are we reaching out to people in an “Adventist style” that we prefer, rather than the authentic connection that they need in order to relate?
I see very limited outreach that has the sole purpose and deliberate intention of addressing the felt needs of the unchurched, by caring for them in a style that is relevant, meaningful and relatable to them.
There are times when we can come across looking so polished and brassy that it freaks that group out. They often can’t relate, they don’t feel good enough and they feel like they don’t fit. I know firsthand the truth in that because that used to be me. I have heard it from people time and time again when travelling in ministry, even from some inside the Church who are struggling with various issues or addictions, who are too ashamed, or too frightened, to talk about them.
It’s awesome that we spend much of our time telling people about the second coming, but what about those who don’t even know who Jesus is and the hope that He has? What about those whose only experience of
Jesus has been through Christian hypocrites, the Bible bashers, the extremists and nutcases? What then? Isn’t the whole purpose of our personal testimony to share the power of Jesus to change lives and bring hope.
What if we dared to reach out to them in a style like Jesus? To go to them in a personal way, on their turf? No masks, no brass, just being ourselves. To get real… literally being “all things to all men”? What if we were to walk into their realm, accept them where they are at, and love them so much that they are naturally drawn to Jesus? After all, that’s what Jesus did.
* Views represented in Opinion are not necessarily those of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.