I’m currently rockin’ in Knoxville, Tennessee. I have the privilege of being one of the morning teachers of an event called CHIC2009 – a gathering of 5200+ high schoolers from all around the country. I’m simply teaching one message but 8x to 600+ students at a time (twice/day). I’d really appreciate your prayers.
I was asked to speak on the topic of ‘my relationship with others.’
Simple enough but it’s clearly one of those things that seem much easier said than done. My sermon – through various points – seeks to explain this:
…more and more Christians are falling in love with the idea of loving and serving our neighbors…than actually loving and serving our neighbors.
And one of the most important ways we love and serve our neighbors is if we build relationships with people.
And this is where I get a lot of push back from people. By building relationships with people, we need to let go of the agenda of “evangelism” and “let’s convert this person to Jesus Christ.” When people wonder why people get scared and weary of christians, it’s because we seek other people as targets, projects, and people to “win over” or “love on” for Jesus. Just be a good a neighbor and that in itself is Jesus honoring. Build relationships. Learn the stories of others. Share your story. Be a good listener. Be intentional about being in relationships with people that don’t look/feel/act/think like you.
I understand the whole motivation behind “win over” and “love on” for Jesus but I don’t want any of that if you’re not actually interested in knowing my story, sharing your story, and growing a relationship.
Just reflect on the life of Jesus and he modeled those very things…
What do you think?
Of course, sharing the gospel is important. Live it out, be a good neighbor, be a good “lover”, care for others, and when opportunities arise and asked, never be ashamed in articulating the good news personified in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ…
And by the way, I got a chance to play teenager last night and rocked to the David Crowder band. They made my list of favorite bands. Check out this this short clip featuring one of my favorite songs, O Praise Him, but also soak in the crowd of 5200+ kids worshipping God.