My name is Jason, and I’ve been following the Lord since May of 2000, after about 6 months of subscribing to “Fire Insurance Christianity”. Never heard of “Fire Insurance Christianity”? Maybe not by name, but the theme is basic: walk forward in a church, say a quick prayer, the preacher tells you you’re going to heaven now instead of hell and *poof* you got your “Fire insurance”! Truth be told though, God desires true relationship, not merely a knee-jerk reactionary “set it and forget it” religious thing for you to do so that for forty-five seconds you’re thinking about God and then for the next 45 years it’s all about you again. But I’m getting ahead of myself. 😉
Since coming to the Lord, He has seen fit to have me serve every age group from “Change me’s!” in the nursery through precious 3 and 4 year old’s, ornery elementaries, mixed-up middle-schoolers and “Too cool” high-schoolers to “College and Career”-age ministry, Men’s ministries, Recovery ministries, homeless ministry, online fellowship minstries…He has truly kept me busy. And that’s not even counting the time spent at the Bible College. 🙂
But all being said, I think it really comes back to simple, person-to-person communication, the way they’ve been doing it for millenia. Just working side-by-side with people, sharing life with them, and as things come up, you talk about them. I’ve had more fantastic experiences with people just nonchalantly, unprepared, sharing common happenings and struggles, pains and joys, fears and failures, trials and triumphs. And when all has been said and done, I’ve had the pleasure of welcoming more people into the Family of God by just being a real person to them than through all the messages, sermons, teachings and studies I’ve given.
Though it may be tempting to stop there, don’t. Because if you do, you’ll be tempted to only remember that last thing I said, and if that’s all you remember, you’ll be doing yourself (and everyone you interact with afterwards) a disservice. You see, the reason why I’ve had the pleasure of welcoming more people into the Family of God through being a real person to them rather than through some sort of study/sermon/teaching setting is *not* because there’s something wrong with those settings — quite the opposite! — it’s just that those are not always the ideal venue for addressing the things each person feels they need addressed before making the life-changing step of giving their heart and life to Jesus.
People are people, and I have found that a lot of times, people from all sorts of backgrounds start thinking they’re better than other people for all sorts of weird reasons — nicer hair, fancier cars, bigger house, different race (sad that *that* one still exists). But one that I simply have never been able to tolerate is when someone from “the Church” starts playing the game of “I’m better than them”, whether by word or by deed, based solely on assumption. In my own opinion, if you are going to name the name of Christ, you better be ready to serve *everyone* equally…doesn’t matter if you drive up in a new Benz or just fell in “off the wagon”, every person deserves the same service and love that Christ would give if He were standing in your shoes.
Because, if you’re truly a Christian, He is. 🙂