Sometimes the missionary enterprise seems complicated and difficult. How do we go about growing the kingdom of God? One of our global workers answered this question well in their last communication. He said, “Bring your friends to Jesus.” As simple and complete as this sounds, it lives a little bit harder. It is, though, in essence, the Great Commission. Whether you live in your own country or in a culture different from where you grew up, you can adopt this strategy.
There are some prerequisites, however.
First, you must be committed to the challenge. You may face some pushback from those around you, especially in today’s world where “living your truth” is a popular life message. Talking to someone about a world-altering faith can be seen as forcing your beliefs on others. You must have skin thick enough to deal with rejection while remaining sensitive and loving to those pushing back on you. The Holy Spirit does the convicting and convincing and brings about the change. We are the living example of that transformation process.
Second, and this is pivotal, you must have non-believing friends. It appears that one of the goals of Christ-followers today is to do everything they can to separate themselves from the very people we are to lead to Jesus. We stay away from places and events where we might encounter challenges to what we believe or where other Christians may judge us if they see us there. Of course, we need balance in these things, but some too quickly retreat to the safety zone of our religious bubble. We spend most of our time with people like us, which is normal. Hanging around people different from you can be difficult. You look and feel different. Leading people to Jesus requires us to be abnormal.
Third, your relationship with someone you bring to Jesus must be deep enough for them to trust you. How do you get there? You must love them as Jesus loved you before you began to follow him. Love requires the sacrifice of your time, energy, and comfort. You must be authentic with everyone – hypocrisy is so easy to spot in people of faith. Be honest about your doubts and your questions about what you believe. Come to grips with the reality that you are no better or worse than they. We all walk the same road and deal with similar joys and sorrows. We are all broken and need mending, whether we follow Jesus or not.
“Come and See”
Bring your friends to Jesus. Andrew did when he brought his brother Peter to meet Jesus. His message was simple. “Come and see.” No promises. No exaggeration. Just “come and see.” Jesus did the rest. If we can trust him, others will too.