Reach | Devotion #2: Connect
Roger Allen | Recovery Director
“For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.” 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
In Corinthians, Paul tells us he became all things to all people so he could save some. What might this look like today? How do we use our talents to serve others to bring them the Gospel.? Our ability to speak, encourage, and serve can make a difference. Each connection you make brings you closer to that outcome. Case in point, at one of my most recent hospital visits, I met the parents of a patient. Similar in age, I quickly connected with them. We had a similar background, mutual friends, and knowing their son was the start of a trusting relationship. I now have a chance to share the hope that is in me. Building the relationship is the key!
Our strengths and weaknesses are invaluable tools to use in outreach. We build upon the relational aspects of who we are. Avoiding the pratfalls of less than genuine conversation, we can remove the walls that divide us. Finding the common denominator that allows us to connect in a deeper way can be easier than we think. Epictetus said, “We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Allowing the focal point to be on the person and not on us will allow an exchange of ideas that will be sincere and caring. It will become one in which we can effectively teach and connect.
On a larger scale, creating the connection to the community can look somewhat different. The modern church uses many ways to reach their neighbors. Trunk or Treat, Adventure Days, Ladies’ Tea, or social media, provide many avenues for outreach. While the purpose is the same, the approach is different. Reaching a multitude of people at the same time must be well thought out. Our neighborhoods are diverse and complex. Many hours are spent planning and developing ways that are most effective. What seems like a small event may take months to plan and implement. Relational concepts are used to reach the community. Gaining trust, we can now speak into families’ lives. It allows individual relationships to grow and prosper and will allow discipleship. Is that not what we are meant to do?
“Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” 2 Timothy 4:2