Over the past week I have made clear my perception of today's America - it is not pretty. In noting this, the simple fact that the change we are seeing did not occur overnight was also front and center. So now we must ask the question as Christians trying to reach people in this new era of "neo-anything can be truth" culture, HOW?
American Christians have perfected the speech approach to teaching. Even in our social media use can be found the clear and often blunt ugly use of this method in telling people what is wrong with their ideology and where they will go because of it. We make our points well yet we are failing to impress or influence even a few. It is time we seek to understand the needed approach required if we are to really make a difference today.
And for many Christians, this is going to be a tough road to travel!
Our learning begins with some simple facts. People without Jesus, do not have a foundation that we can build upon. People without Jesus, need Jesus first! Never should we compromise the truth with anyone. But understanding that only in a relationship with Jesus is the foundation upon which truth is built can we expect any glimmer of accomplishing lasting life change. This is Biblical truth. Hard to realize that we Christians must first accept a truth before we expect others to do the same. But this is a must. The journey begins with this hurdle at the starting line.
Many American churches are facilitating this hurdle by abandoning Evangelistic outreach endeavors. We talk much about reaching the nations. Preaching to the nations is the new modern day battle cry! A simple analysis of our current trends in methods and thoughts on evangelism reveal that we are doing little to reach individual people regardless of the intent of the battle cry. The popular growth of Reformed Theology and the New Calvinism of our day are not helping either. The more this spreads the fewer people that will be reached. Sharing Jesus is the beginning. It is more than preaching/teaching. Sharing Jesus is more than telling someone to turn or burn. Sharing Jesus is sharing Jesus story and what He did for all of us. It is making it clear that Jesus offers a free gift called salvation to all who will receive. The gift is offered, but we each must chose to accept or reject.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Sharing truth requires each of us who know Christ to begin sharing His truth. It is not turn or burn. It is begging and pleading with people to see what God did for them in His Son Jesus. It is sharing the love of God for all people regardless of where they have been or what they have done! It is leaving the judging to God while living as one changed so as not to cause anyone to stumble so that the message of Gods love in Christ, can be seen and thus received.
This is the starting point! No moral or political change is possible of lasting value without Jesus first!