Now consider our efforts to reach the lost with the love of Christ. The tracks, drive-by visits, and mass mailers for our special events. None of it, or at least most of it, lacks any personal involvement.
It seems lazy to me.
Jesus entered our world, and lived within our limitations. He got to know us inside and out. He lived our life. He spent time at weddings, dinners, and in worship.
I’m not sure our evangelistic efforts measure up in comparison.
Looking at the life of Jesus and then looking at ours, how much “incarnational” energy are we expending? What have we sacrificed to reach the people that surround us at work, at home, our friends, and families?
Inviting people to a musical, a concert, or a special speaker and hoping they are convicted of their sins and run to the altar seeking forgiveness, saying a prayer, and getting saved has worked in the past, but it seems lazy.
Evangelism is getting involved in someone’s life. It is living with them through their highs, lows, successes, and failures. It is buying groceries, paying rent, and taking people out for a bit of a good time.
What if we took the incarnation of Jesus Christ not only as something amazing but also as an example of how we are supposed to engage the world around us?
What if we walked in our neighbor’s shoes for a mile or two? What if we learned what it means to live their life? What if we tried to understand their struggles, fears, hopes, and dreams?
This is more loving than a track that is passed out at the grocery store. Evangelism is having some skin in the game. It is getting to know the people to whom we are witnessing. Evangelism is learning to love and care about people.
This has some far reaching ramifications because it means we don’t get to have enemies. Of course it doesn’t mean that people won’t be antagonistic and even hateful. Just because we are loving, doesn’t mean that will be what we receive in return.
Mostly that’s because loving people like Jesus loves people is to love folks that others don’t think we should love. Loving and caring for people, all people, means no us or them. And some of us cannot handle that.
So, that’s my little pitch to move from lazevangelism to evangelism.
It starts with learning to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.