Have you gotten a piece of advice that can be used in a variety of situations? I did. The Deaf Church at FirstNLR hosted a potluck and my wife and I were told to connect with every person who came. The reason was to build relationships with people.
Easy enough for my extroverted wife; as for introverted me, I was working at it. The idea behind it is the deeper and better the relationship, the more influence another will allow you to have. The trust lets you guide them when necessary, tell a hard truth in love when they mess up, and share Jesus with them.
Seriously, who are you more likely to listen to. Your best friend or a stranger who knocks on your door?
Relational Currency in Social Economies
I took our assignment and ran with it in many areas of my life: Deaf Church, Sparkle and Shine (the ministry we lead), GriefShare, work. Just reaching out touching people.
I see the principle at work in John Maxwell’s leadership training and Alton Garrison’s relational evangelism. We’re going to look at the latter. Sharing Jesus in the context of relationships, which requires two things.
It requires us to be good examples of Christians and to develop relationships. D.L Moody said, “Where one man reads the Bible, a hundred read you and me.”
We have to earn the right to share Jesus. My friends Eric and Shaun are great at it.
Alton teaches that we’re the priesthood of believers (1 Peter 2:15) and are the temples of the living God (1 Corinthians 6:19). When we walk into a building full of unchurched people, we have brought the presence of God into that place. I wrote on that before.
What Can I Do?
Two ways you can do it personally. You can talk to your friends and neighbors. Invite your friends to church, and go out and make relationships with the hurting, oppressed, and sick so they can be helped and healed.
Find your church’s neighbors. Don’t just go door-to-door handing out invites. Serve the community. Volunteer in it, touch lives by helping others. Be Immanuel—God with us—to them.
The goal is to extend love and friendship to those outside the church, to build relationships. That’s something we all can and are commanded to do, not just our pastors (Matthew 28:19-20).