There is no such thing as winning.
Yes, you read that correctly. Maybe you disagree. Let me contextualise – there is no such thing as winning when it comes to revealing Jesus. It’s not a race. Maybe you think it is on the basis you’ll get a bigger mansion in heaven. Careful. We’ll hang out at your place, for all eternity.
The Western way of looking at life is like a To Do list. Church – tick. Small group – tick. Giving – tick. Serving – tick. Shared my faith – tick.
Don’t do it. Rethink how you do life.
In his book, The Mission of God’s People, Christopher JH Wright states,
The reality is, of course, as soon as you think seriously about it, that the mission field is everywhere, including your own street – wherever there is ignorance or rejection of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Do the people of God have any responsibility to the rest of human society in general beyond the imperative of evangelism? What content do we put into biblical phrases like being a blessing to the nations, or seeking the welfare of the city, or being the salt of the earth of the light of the world, or doing good (one of the commonest expressions used by Paul and Peter)? Do these concepts figure in our biblical theology of mission?
Can you see how it just goes everywhere and all the time. The Bible is about people who claim they are followers or disciples of Jesus. Have you heard the term, Good News? If it’s our role to share the Good News, we need to be Good News people; that is, we need to be Jesus revealers.
Revealing Jesus is about living life with your blinkers off and your wide-angle lenses on. Who can you help? Who can you pray for?
Revealing Jesus is about pressing into the story of God, knowing this story so deeply you act because of it. What’s my Jesus response? What is my action and/or reaction?
Revealing Jesus is about developing a confidence that matches your humility. Think of the images used in the Bible – clay pots, servants, stewards, witnesses.
I’m cautious about writing what this might look like specifically in community-facing ministry setting because then it feels like we’re back into the Western thinking of ticking boxes on a To Do list. What I’d love you to consider is what this looks like for the whole of your life. That way, it will permeate everywhere, in everything you do. What follows is a stack of habits and rhythms that people use to help them be a revealer of Jesus. The examples that follow are the result of a journey, an infinite journey. Some of them are my own; some of them collected from people who reveal Jesus. Sometimes you’ll notice Jesus is front and centre; other stories remind us the Kingdom, on earth as it is in heaven, also reveals Jesus.
- I’m always looking for practical ways to support families and to pray for them. It was over a few sessions that I noticed a mum in dire straits before Christmas. The Holy Spirit prompted me to give a $100 grocery voucher but as I didn’t want this family to know where it came from, it was given on behalf of the whole team.
- I go through phases of praying when a service vehicle passes – “Lord, protect the police as they rush through the traffic so they can get to the emergency quickly.” “Father, take the pressure of off the paramedics as they prepare to assist someone in need.” What I notice is that my wide-angle lens is activated and working elsewhere when I remember to pray like this.
- Learning the Love Languages philosophy means I love to bless others with the same concept. When a mum told me she was frustrated with her touchy feely, clingy child, I explained what love languages was all about. The result. It was a conversation that became a real light bulb moment. She’d also realised the positive benefit it was, even in her marriage!
- Crazy example, but I notice birds, dead on the road. It’s that moment when the verse from Matthew 10 pops into my head and I thank God for His care, His concern, His interest.
- ‘What is the price of two sparrows – one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.’
- I was offered a (piano) keyboard. Rather than immediately thinking of someone from in my church community, I prayed, asking God who He had in mind. I was directed her to a mother and daughter. When offered the keyboard, there was so much excitement. They had been praying about getting one. I sat with this little family and thanked God for His direction.
- My husband and I were invited to an anniversary of a Buddhist family. I realise I’ve been involved with this family for over 12 years. Not only was I invited to pray, but also read some Bible verses to everyone who gathered. The Bible wasn’t foreign to this family as two of their children attend a Christian-faith school. What a privilege to say yes to their invitation.
Organic outreach is not about a program or a plan. It’s about orienting our hearts toward God and letting Him lead us. It’s about seeking the direction of the Holy Spirit. It’s about being ever ready to respond when God opens a door.
What will you do now that a window has opened into the way people reveal Jesus in the everyday, normal stuff of life?