Me to We: Reaching People With the Love of Christ
In the Me to We series, we have focused on four of Northstar’s core values of faith, serving, generosity, and this week evangelism. These are values we are passionate about and are the guiding principles of our ministry. At Northstar, we will do whatever it takes, short of sin, to find people far from God and lead them to life in Jesus. That’s one of our core values, and it’s the one that probably creates the most tension for Christians. It’s a value that is drawn straight from Scripture: “When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.” (1 Corinthians 9:22-23)
Something To Talk About:
Northstar was born out of a desire to reach and transform lives. We believe the good news of the kingdom is the most important commodity with which the church and the people of God have been entrusted, so we place great value on engaging the lost. We don’t believe that those far from the heart of God should or will seek us out, so we must go out and ”seek and save those who are lost.”
- Bear some burdens: Paul tells us to “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2). God calls all of us to care for those who are in a place of hurt or in need in our lives. In fact, this is exactly what happens in the story of the paralyzed man in Mark 4. In this story, the four men go above and beyond the call of duty to carry their friend to Jesus. The story is the embodiment of something we often say at Northstar: people don’t care how much you know, they first want to know how much you care. Then they want to know if you are involved in their life. Jesus was always willing to lend a helping hand. He fed the poor, healed the sick, and raised the dead. Of course, we cannot feed 5,000 with five loaves and two fishes, but when we know of one in need perhaps we can be of help. We cannot heal the sick, but we can help one person. We can visit them, read the Scriptures to them, and pray with them. We cannot raise the dead, but we can visit and comfort those who are grieving. We care about people. We show them His love before we even tell them about His love.
- Break some rules: God is going to call us to break some rules. The four friends in the story of the paralyzed man broke the normal rules of engagement. Since they couldn’t get their buddy to Jesus because of the crowd, watch this, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then they lowered the mat the man was lying on right down in front of Jesus. (Mark 2:4) What I love about this is these are guys that overcame barriers, even if it meant breaking a few rules along the way. We’re going to bust through barriers. We’re going to break rules. We’re going to do whatever it takes to get people to Jesus.
- Be Creative: Since we are made in the image of a creative Creator, we too should look for creative ways to reach people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to be innovative. And innovation and creativity are borne out of a passion for those far from the heart of God. At Northstar we will do anything short of sin to reach those who don’t know Christ. That leaves a lot of room for creativity and for innovation. That means we may break some rules, or change our approach, or create new and different opportunities. It means we will change our mindset from “that won’t work” to “what if it does work” to”we will find a way to make it work.” Bottom line: We want to passionately communicate the life changing message of Jesus Christ in a relative and creative way through contagious and radical worship.
- What comes to mind when you hear bearing the burdens of others?
- Should we as Christians be breaking the rules?
- Jesus ate with sinners. What are some ways you can get more involved in the lives of people who are far from Christ?
- How does the Christian’s hope, passion for life, strong purpose, or inner peace impact evangelism?
- How often do you pray for yourself as it pertains to being shaped by God to see people the way He sees people? Would you accept the challenge of each small group member to pray for them daily, asking God to show them how He sees the people all around them instead of how we view them.
- What do you like about our church that you could share with others? What about inviting them to this group?
- What have been obstacles for you in the past for not being more passionate about reaching others for Christ?
Take One Thing Home with You:
The question is not that we want all people saved, we do, but how bad do we want it and what are we willing to do to achieve it. We need to recapture the “by any means necessary” mindset Jesus modeled. We must seek the lost no matter the cost. Jesus came from Heaven into the messiness of human life and surrounded Himself with sinners. Jesus spent time with drunks, touched lepers, and gave water to a woman no one would be caught dead with.
In Luke 19:1-10, Jesus tells us that His mission is to seek and save the lost. Jesus went into the home of a tax collector named Zacchaeus. This was crazy because tax collectors were hated. Jesus’ safety and reputation were at stake. But, none of that kept Jesus from going to Zacchaeus. Jesus had one thing in mind: seek the lost no matter the cost. At some point we’ve got to lay aside tradition, reputation, safety, and if needed, our lives to seek the lost. Seek the lost no matter the cost. Jesus did. That is why we say and believe that “We will do anything short of sin to reach people who don’t know Jesus.”