In some of my recent columns I have been addressing particular aspects of the new five-year strategy for our convention entitled “Impacting Lostness through Disciple-Making.” In the explanation of the strategy we talk about the importance of building relationships. It is possible to have different motives for cultivating relationships with people. I invite you to reflect on relationships you have known with different individuals. Can you remember someone who pursued a relationship with you because they wanted to help you spiritually? It may have been a relative, a neighbor or a friend at church.
One worthy motive for building relationships with new people relates to their spiritual life. Are you willing to obey God when His Spirit impresses you to help another believer grow and mature in their walk with Christ? You do this by intentionally investing time with that brother/sister in Christ and pouring into him/her the spiritual truths God has taught you through some of His servants that took time to teach you. Even if you are tempted to think you have little to offer, God knows what that individual needs and He knows that as you depend on Him and do what He asks, you will receive everything you need to help that person grow spiritually and become better equipped for a mission of God. You call this process disciple-making.
There is also great value in building relationships with people who do not know Christ as Savior with the intentional purpose of helping them become a Christ follower.
We are commanded in our Lord’s Great Commission to make disciples and the initial step in this process is helping people establish a spiritual relationship with God through saving faith in Christ. It has been said that 63 percent of people in contemporary culture have indicated that they do not believe the church is relevant. However, 25 percent of those surveyed have indicated they would attend a church if they were invited by a friend.
The foundation of the Christian faith is about relationships. Jesus said “I am come to seek and to save that which is lost.” He came to earth in order to make provision through the cross for our sin to be forgiven. God wants sinful people to accept His forgiveness and establish a faith relationship with Him. This is an invitation for anyone to become a part of His eternal family.
When we love others as Jesus loves them, we will demonstrate that we care about them. Are you willing to make this kind of personal investment? There are 5.8 million people living in North Carolina who do not know Christ as Savior. Who is God asking you to build a relationship with in order that you can introduce them to Christ and help them become a spiritually mature Christ follower?
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16