Jesus said to “Go!” and make disciples.  But where do we go?

A big issue in contemporary church is that most Christians only interact with other church people.  If you are a follower of Jesus, how many friends do you have who don’t go to church?  Do you need to change that?

I recently did a blog, see below, on how to have spiritual conversations.  But where do we go?  How do we position ourselves?  Well, you go explore your community in new and exciting ways.

If you are a pastor, your temptation is to sit in your office and wait for people to come.  Those people would be church people, of course.  Not too many unchurched people are going to the pastor’s office.

I am familiar with a senior pastor who would “work” late into the evenings at the church.  When the associate pastor wasn’t there, he would turn on the lights in that pastor’s office so that people driving by would be impressed by how hard the pastors “worked.”

And, to be fair, they did work hard.  But not at the job God called them to do.  Pastors are called to the great commission and equipping others for ministry.  Yes, that’s not what most pastors and church people believe.  But it is what Jesus says.  So I’m sticking with Jesus.

Okay, now that we have you out of your office, where to?  There are no set answers.  You are the expert of your community.  But here are some questions to help you find where God is calling.

  • Pray: Dear God, where do you want me to go?
  • Who are you looking for?  Who are the people God is calling you to connect with in your community?
  • Where do those people hang out?  Are they at coffee shops, cafes, bars, parks, etc.?
  • What are your own passions?  Where can you bring integrity rather than being a stalker?
  • What are groups that you might join which don’t require a lot of time in service?  (You already have a service oriented job which demands your focus.)
  • What are the community opportunities like the Chamber of Commerce, concerts, plays, etc.?
It sounds like this is easy.  It isn’t.  It may take a lot of trial and error to find the right locations.  It may change.  People are not necessarily looking for what you have to offer.  They don’t realize how desperately they need the benefits of the Jesus journey.  That’s where you come in to befriend them and share your story – which I assume would be far less compelling without Jesus in it.

You don’t have to be an extrovert.  Don’t use your shyness and being uncomfortable as an excuse for not sharing your faith.  Such things didn’t work for the likes of Moses and Jeremiah.  Really, what is more fun than learning the life story of another person and becoming a part of their story as they become a part of yours?

So be gentle with yourself.  Every new conversation is one you wouldn’t have had had you been sitting in your office.  Cherish it.  Celebrate it.  Build off of it.  Pray for God to bless it and lead you to wherever the next person awaits you.  Evaluate your community, and then “Go!”

So where are the best places you have found for encountering people?  Leave your comments below.

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