They Matter To God
Take a look around your neighborhood. Or around your office. Or school. Or park. Do you see them?
They live in the houses next door, they get up every Sunday morning, have a cup of coffee, and read the Star Tribune. But they don’t go to church and they don’t know Christ and they probably don't even have a relationship with a Christian they respect.
If you believe what the Bible says about the afterlife, you know they are headed for hell. It is like they are in a little world of their own. There are churches on every corner, and yet these people are sitting in their living rooms alone on Sunday mornings. They matter to God. So how are we going to reach them?
Let me give you a two-step strategy. First, invest. Invest in a relationship with someone who is not a believer. On a regular basis, leave the huddle of close Christian fellowship, take some risks and get to know and spend time with non-churched people. This will mean reaching out in the neighborhood, inviting a neighbor over for dinner, golfing with those at work who don’t know Christ. We have to build relational bridges over to these people.
I don’t know about you, but when strangers approach me, my walls go up. I say, “What’s your angle? What do you want”? But when a friend wants to talk to me about something that is important, my walls go down and I say, “Talk to me”. I’m open to it, because I know and trust them.
Jesus modeled this type of relational investment. He sees Zacchaeus up in a tree, stops what He is doing and arranges to have a dinner get-together. And it is in the context of a relationship that Jesus presents the transformational truth of the gospel and Zacchaeus’ life changes.
Second, invite. In Romans 10:14 Paul writes, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?" They have to hear. Someone has to invite them to take the next step towards Jesus.
Scripture tells us to always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks us what our faith is all about. Do you know how to explain the gospel in a crisp and compelling way?
Invite them to an appropriate program here at First Free—MOPS, or VBC, or Streetfest. We want to partner with you to lead your friends to Christ.
Our mission here at First Free is to help individuals become Christ-centered and Christ-sent together. It is a mission that is externally focused, pointing us to the lost around us. It is our redemptive heartbeat. Inside this month’s First Word, you will read Mordechai's story of investing and inviting. Would you commit to doing the same?
After all, Jesus Christ is the one who has sent us out on mission—to proclaim the gospel everywhere we can, anytime we can, because the stakes are so very, very high.