What is it that keeps us from truly reaching out to the lost? What changes in us from the day we receive Jesus and we just have to tell everyone to the day when we keep quiet so as not to attract attention? Perhaps it is simply osmosis.
I’ve noticed something interesting in our church. People who recently find Christ tell everyone. They bring more people to church than anyone. When we first experience a new life through Jesus we almost feel as though we have found the cure to cancer. It’s like the being let in on the best kept secret. But usually within a year or so we seem to lose that excitement. We lose the drive to tell everyone what we’ve found.
We go through osmosis. Slowly over time we submerge ourselves into the Christian culture and tend to lose touch with the rest of culture. Which is often why the church struggles to reach the lost. We become great at Christian community and poor at connecting with those who don’t know Jesus. This is why I believe the church needs to embrace Paul’s words in 1 Cor 9:22.
“To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.”
Jesus didn’t desire us to be separate from the world (John 17:15), but rather to be engaged with the world…albeit not to be like the world. Somehow we wake up one day and through osmosis we have disengaged. The more withdrawn we become…the less effective we are. As a pastor it can be easy for me to become isolated from the world. That is why we must be intentional about reversing osmosis.
Here are a few ways you can be intentional about connecting with the world. (I am working on these myself)
- Have a neighbor over for dinner. Make time to be with neighbors who don’t know Christ!
- Join a local gym. Get a workout partner who doesn’t know Jesus.
- Use the marketplace as a way of connecting with people during the day. Build relationships with people you work with.
- Visit a local establishment (coffee shop or restaurant) regularly and get to know the staff.
- Get involved in community events or activities that are not being hosted by a church.
Don’t become another person who through osmosis to the Christian community has lost touch with reality! (This is reality – people all around you are headed for hell if they don’t meet Jesus)