Let me first offer a prayer to all our Chinese members and friends as you and your family celebrate the Chinese New Year. May God in His supreme sovereignty and boundless grace bless, keep, and sustain you and all your family members throughout the year.
We come again to the time when we will, with some mementos of goodwill and tracts, be “doing” an outreach to the people in our community.
I’d like to share a couple of thoughts on “outreaching.”
Avoid a One-off Mentality
In the parable of the “ten minas” Jesus tells the story of a “nobleman” who gives to his ten servants “ten minas.” The nobleman’s instruction to them is “engage (or “occupy” as in the KJV) until I come.”
Obviously, this is a call for disciples of Jesus Christ to be occupied in, or carry on, the business of the gospel, and to improve on the “minas” He has given them.
When we accept this “occupation” we can’t treat it as a one-time, one-off occupation. Neither should it be viewed or treated as a separate stand-alone undertaking. To me, “engage/occupy” implies a process of personal stewardship - a life-long occupation. It is until He comes!
What does the bible say about what we should be doing when we are outreaching?
I have space to cover two points.
First, show compassion. Compassion fills the pages of the Old Testament and the Gospels. This is a challenge to the followers of Jesus. The Bible speaks of God having compassion for Israel. It tells of a Savior who suffered for the world, and it asks us to live and act compassionately.
Compassion means someone else’s heartbreak becomes your heartbreak. Another’s suffering becomes your suffering. True compassion changes the way we live.
Second, “to save”. Jesus came “to seek and to save” the lost. This brings up the overarching purpose of outreaching - God wants to forgive sinful people. He wants to heal them. So, we bring the good news to people for God to heal their brokenness.
Rev. Robert Chew