I was having a dream and in it there was a discussion on how to minister appropriately to someone who is lost but whose life has been filled with tragic and difficult circumstances. How do you prioritize the benefit of having a relationship with Jesus Christ with them?
This dream occurred the same night I had heard a wonderful message of evangelism from Bishop Leonard Fairley at the opening session of The Summit, the annual meeting of the National Association of United Methodist Evangelists. There, he shared his story of coming to faith in Jesus Christ and that the call upon his life was incarnated much like the call of Jesus’ first disciples in Luke 5.
Jesus got into his stuff, into his neighborhood through two young girls who gave him an invitation to come to a Neighborhood Vacation Bible School, set up on the street not too far from where he lived. He was called out into the deep as an older lady in the neighborhood invited them into their home for Sabbath School and got rewarded with candy for memorizing the scripture. He was asked to let down his nets in a different manner than he was accustomed by her teaching them the song, Go Tell It on the Mountain. He was blessed past the breaking point (and Mama’s point of permission) when she invited him and his brothers to her church and bought a suit for each of them so they could be properly dressed for the occasion.
Bishop Fairley then added, the church received them and acted like the Jackson 5 had come to sing in their church and he heard Jesus speak to him about making him a fisher of men, one who goes and rises to the vantage point of the mountain to tell the world that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Every obstacle to him knowing about Jesus was removed by the loving and straightforward actions people took. Whether it was setting up Vacation Bible School on the sidewalk, street corner “mountain”, someone opening up their home and creating an atmosphere where Jesus was put first, or that same someone buying suits and removing the awkwardness of being ill-fit to come to church, the way was paved for repentance to occur.
The gifts were all given so that one young boy could align himself to follow Jesus Christ as Lord! What are you doing to bring at least one person into alignment with Jesus, today?