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#1 Debp

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Posted 09 September 2007 - 06:45 PM

I wonder what would happen if more Christians would seek to include a non-Christian or two in their next social activity? (Just regular fun things, not church.) Perhaps some of you already do this. I know from experience that non-Christians (especially from other countries) are very happy to make a kind, sincere Christian friend. But I'm sure there are other non-Christians that are going through difficult times or are lonely, etc, that would also welcome a good Christian friend.

Look for someone that needs a good friend....as the love of Christ reaches out of you to others, you will be surprised at how blessed you are. And you might be the way that this person comes to know Jesus as their Savior.

Anyone else have some ideas on this or do you already seek to reach out to some non-Christians in your life, by including them?

 

P.S.  After awhile you can ask them to church.  They might be more willing to attend if they already know you as a friend.


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#2 Debp

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 01:46 AM

I happened across this article and thought others might like to read it....sort of on the same topic.


4 Essentials to Lead Others to Christ
Written by Rev. Victor Lee
This article is courtesy of HomeLife magazine.


God had a plan when He sent Jesus to earth to redeem the world. Now Christ lives in everyone who has received Him as Savior, and He has a plan to continue impacting the world through you.

His plan is for His followers to take the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ to others. This doesn’t happen accidentally, but with intention, purpose, preparation. You could call it “living on purpose, with purpose.”

The example of Christ and instruction from the Word reveal that there are four things we must do to facilitate others coming to Christ. These things are necessary whether our evangelistic effort is individual or corporate. They all start with “E” so that they are “E”asy to remember.

Engage the Lost

Jesus Christ spent His life going places He wasn’t supposed to go, with people He wasn’t supposed to be with, and saying things He wasn’t supposed to say. He was irreligious. Just ask the Pharisees. While they were being religious, He was engaging lost people where they lived! He was traveling through Samaria. He was eating with sinners. He was leaving the 99 to find the one!

A newlywed couple moved to a rundown apartment complex in the heart of Washington, D.C., even though they could afford better, because they thought they could make a difference. Broken families were all around them. The woman — a schoolteacher — immediately noticed that latchkey children as young as first graders abounded. She opened her apartment to them, baked goodies with the kids, and generally became a surrogate parent. Quickly, this couple’s apartment became the place to hang out. Children loved them. Parents appreciated them. The couple loved their neighbors.

Through the relationships, this couple led many children and parents to Christ over a period of several years. It wasn’t simple or easy, but it never would have happened without the couple deciding to live for that purpose. That doesn’t mean everyone has to move to a different neighborhood to find people who are spiritually lost. It does mean we must intentionally cultivate relationships with people who do not know Christ.

“The paradigm shift the church needs to make is to be where the lost are,” says Alvin Reid, author or co-author of eight books on evangelism or related themes, and professor of evangelism at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. “In this post-modern era, people don’t ask if you can prove it; they ask if you can live it. And they can’t see you live it if they don’t see you!”

Here’s a key question: How far should you go to engage the spiritually lost? Some Christians want to live in their sanitized world and not touch non-Christians. They think they’ll be “tainted.” So, where and how far can you go? Where’s the line?

The answer: The line is past your comfort zone, but before sin. That’s it. You and I should go as far into the lost person’s world as we can — beyond what’s comfortable — as long as we don’t sin. That line is gray, so walking it requires listening to the Holy Spirit.

Endear the Lost
We must serve the lost and endear (to make beloved or well-liked) them to us by sincere acts of love. By showing people the love of Christ with our actions, we can earn the right to share the gospel with them. The love of Christ can be the bridge from hardness to openness in a lost person’s heart.

“Most people today still have respect for the name of Jesus,” Reid says. “Many don’t have respect for the church or the institution of Christianity. So we have to endear ourselves through simple acts of kindness, through love. Our culture is religious, but it’s not righteous. We must be righteous. It’s not that hard to endear.”

Jesus did it. People were drawn to Him because of His love, because of the way He met needs. “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many,” He said (Matthew 20:28). When Jesus had drawn them in, He shared the truth. When He had the world’s attention, He lived the truth by dying for those He loved!

A man moved into an apartment complex in a new city. He didn’t know anyone there, and on move-in day he was offered no help. This Christian vowed he wouldn’t let that happen to others. A few weeks later, he saw a man moving in, seemingly alone. He offered to help and befriended the new neighbor. They were very different from each other, but the man earned his neighbor’s trust and also led him to Christ after a few months.

You, too, can sincerely love people to whom you may not initially be attracted, and in so doing Christ can change their eternity through you!

Educate the Lost

After we’ve engaged and endeared the lost, we must tell them the truth about Jesus and how He can make a difference in their lives. “No matter what people say about a post-modern culture — that they espouse that there is no truth — they don’t live that way,” says Reid, whose most recent book is Radically Unchurched: Who They Are, How to Reach Them. “After 9-11, everyone believes there is some evil. The culture tells us it’s true. More than ever, we must unapologetically present the truth.”

We are told in 1 Peter 3:15 to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

Extending love to others will create interest in our lives, and we must be prepared to speak the truth in love. One family — a mom, dad, and two young children — shared the truth with their neighbors through a birthday party for Jesus. Lots of churches have birthday parties for Jesus, but many of them only invite the church. What a waste!

This family had the party at their home. Mom and the children delivered invitations to the homes of neighborhood children. Mom was careful to tell the parents as she gave them the invitation, “My husband or I will take a few minutes during the party to explain why Christmas is such an important holiday to us.” (This way, they were not “sneaking up on” someone with the gospel, and they minimized the chance of offending someone.)

When the party day came, parents and kids filled their home. There was food, fun, and lots of laughter. The father stopped the proceedings for a few minutes to welcome everyone and to explain that they had the party to celebrate the life of Jesus Christ. He explained in a sentence or two why Jesus lived and died, and invited anyone who wanted to know more to ask him or his wife later.

This example actually fulfills three of the four principles for reaching the lost: engaging, endearing, and educating.

Exhort the Lost to Make a Decision About Jesus

“There is a move by some to give truth and let it lie where it is,” Reid says. “But Paul said, ‘Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men’ (2 Corinthians 5:11). Jesus consistently said, ‘Follow Me.’ That sounds like exhorting people.”

There comes a time after engaging, endearing, and educating when it is necessary to say, in effect, “Wouldn’t you like to have the abundant life — on this earth and eternally — that Jesus Christ came to give you?”

We must lead people to the throne of grace. We can’t make decisions for them, but we can lovingly challenge them to decide what they are going to do about Jesus Christ. Don’t leave out this part! If you love people, challenge them.

Our church culture is accustomed to some form of witnessing. The church will regularly (though not necessarily frequently) engage and exhort the lost. Too often, however, it’s hit-and-run evangelism. That will have some limited success by the Holy Spirit’s work causing some people to be ready to receive. However, it is most often ineffective because the care and detail of endearing and educating are left out.

Attention to all four aspects of the process ensures an intentional, relational evangelism style. It enhances success by creating a bridge across which the gospel travels. It is the harder road, but a kingdom full of Christians living it would yield results that would amaze us and glorify God!

Victor Lee is minister of evangelism at First Baptist Concord, Knoxville, Tennessee.
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#3 Guest_Imani_*

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 05:03 AM

[size=5]That article was quite insightful.Thanks.
I know that as Christians we are meant to follow Christ's example in reaching out but can we go as far as He did?He is God and therefore was without sin. He went through temptations as a human being and still did not sin. Can we do the same? I believe we are limited due to our human nature but yes we do have the Holy Spirit to guide us.
I have to say that including non christians in our social lives is a sure way to win them over to Christ. We however need to ensure that we do not end up getting ensnared by the pleasures of this world in our quest to reach out. If we get involved in their activities let us also get them involved in church activities and therefore leave no doubt where we stand.
May God help us
[/size][font=Times New Roman]








I wonder what would happen if more Christians would seek to include a non-Christian or two in their next social activity? (Just regular fun things, not church.) Perhaps some of you already do this. I know from experience that non-Christians (especially from other countries) are very happy to make a kind, sincere Christian friend. But I'm sure there are other non-Christians that are going through difficult times or are lonely, etc, that would also welcome a good Christian friend.

Look for someone that needs a good friend....as the love of Christ reaches out of you to others, you will be surprised at how blessed you are. And you might be the way that this person comes to know Jesus as their Savior.

Anyone else have some ideas on this or do you already seek to reach out to some non-Christians in your life, by including them?


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#4 Debp

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 06:00 PM

[size=5]That article was quite insightful.Thanks.
I know that as Christians we are meant to follow Christ's example in reaching out but can we go as far as He did?He is God and therefore was without sin. He went through temptations as a human being and still did not sin. Can we do the same? I believe we are limited due to our human nature but yes we do have the Holy Spirit to guide us.
I have to say that including non christians in our social lives is a sure way to win them over to Christ. We however need to ensure that we do not end up getting ensnared by the pleasures of this world in our quest to reach out. If we get involved in their activities let us also get them involved in church activities and therefore leave no doubt where we stand.
May God help us
[/size][font=Times New Roman]


Hi Imani. I actually meant about inviting non-Christians to our social and fun activities. For instance, if we are having a barbeque or some type of fun gathering with our Christian friends, why not include a non-Christian who seems to need a friend? (I do not mean go to a "bar" or some place like this with a non-Christian.)

I think there are some non-Christians who would be happy to be invited to a wholesome, fun activity. Sometimes the Lord puts a person in our path....sometimes, we need to look around to see if there is someone who needs a friend....and be willing to invite them. As time goes on, I'm sure they would be happy to attend church as well....if they find Christians to be sincerely interested in them.
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#5 Guest_Imani_*

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 07:50 AM

Hi. I get what you mean. Its true we are so cacooned in our social activities leaving out the non christian. It is a sure way of reaching out. You just reminded me of a challenge i got from a minister of the word who was questioning our reading of the bible. We were at a Navigators re union and he asked how many of us still do our daily bible reading. All hands went up. Then he asked how many are involved in a group devoted to studying the bible. Half the hands went up. Then he asked how many of us have read the bible with non Christians. A quarter of us had their hands up. Then he asked how many of us study the word with non christians and only two hands went up.
If we involve non christians in our social lives then it most probably be easier to invite them for bible study.







Hi Imani. I actually meant about inviting non-Christians to our social and fun activities. For instance, if we are having a barbeque or some type of fun gathering with our Christian friends, why not include a non-Christian who seems to need a friend? (I do not mean go to a "bar" or some place like this with a non-Christian.)

I think there are some non-Christians who would be happy to be invited to a wholesome, fun activity. Sometimes the Lord puts a person in our path....sometimes, we need to look around to see if there is someone who needs a friend....and be willing to invite them. As time goes on, I'm sure they would be happy to attend church as well....if they find Christians to be sincerely interested in them.


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#6 Debp

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 05:42 PM

Hi. I get what you mean. Its true we are so cacooned in our social activities leaving out the non christian. It is a sure way of reaching out.

If we involve non christians in our social lives then it most probably be easier to invite them for bible study.


Yes, I agree. Most Christians are too insulated....forgetting to reach out in sincere Christian love to non-Christians. I find when we are sincerely caring for people as individuals, they are more apt to listen about our faith in Christ. Alot of times, they will ask questions about our faith....because they see it has made a difference in our lives. Some will also ask for prayer.
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#7 Debp

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 08:48 PM

At this time in our country with severe economic problems, etc, maybe we can reach out to someone that seems very worried about this, or perhaps they have already lost their job, etc.

At another forum, a lady took some food to a family that lost their job. She asked them to taste it as she is thinking of opening a restaurant (she did not want to embarrass them). What a nice way to help someone.
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#8 Debp

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 10:11 PM

Happened to see this topic again and thought I'd ask if anyone is reaching out to someone that needs a friend? Or maybe there is someone new to your country or even your neighborhood that might need a friend?
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#9 Debp

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 06:48 PM

I read about a Christian that invited a foreign student to a Bible study. Because the foreign student said "no" to going to the Bible Study, the Christian just went on their way and never contacted that foreign student at all. What the Christian didn't realize was that the foreign student would have really liked to have had a friend...

Even if someone says "no" to a Bible Study, let's still be a friend to someone....maybe after they get to know a follower of Christ, they will want to learn about Jesus and about what the Bible says?
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#10 lilacday

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 08:22 AM

I read about a Christian that invited a foreign student to a Bible study. Because the foreign student said "no" to going to the Bible Study, the Christian just went on their way and never contacted that foreign student at all. What the Christian didn't realize was that the foreign student would have really liked to have had a friend...

Even if someone says "no" to a Bible Study, let's still be a friend to someone....maybe after they get to know a follower of Christ, they will want to learn about Jesus and about what the Bible says?


Good artical above, and yes so true, I remember many years ago, when my third child was at nursury, I invited one of the mums over for coffee with her child and as we talked she shared about how her child was soon to have an operation (simple one, but my child had it done when he was a baby) I offered a simple prayer.......and i did not see them again!! till 2 years later, in a supermarket where I didnt usually go in that time of day, and a town that apparently she had been avoiding for 2 years! she remembered us and also told me she had since become a christian by someone else knocking on her door in her new area!! (so you never know where a cup of coffee may lead...sometimes it takes time to pluck up courage, but when God does amazing things it is so worth it even if you dont emidiatly see the fruit of your reaching out)
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#11 Debp

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 06:54 PM

Good artical above, and yes so true, I remember many years ago, when my third child was at nursury, I invited one of the mums over for coffee with her child and as we talked she shared about how her child was soon to have an operation (simple one, but my child had it done when he was a baby) I offered a simple prayer.......and i did not see them again!! till 2 years later, in a supermarket where I didnt usually go in that time of day, and a town that apparently she had been avoiding for 2 years! she remembered us and also told me she had since become a christian by someone else knocking on her door in her new area!! (so you never know where a cup of coffee may lead...sometimes it takes time to pluck up courage, but when God does amazing things it is so worth it even if you dont emidiatly see the fruit of your reaching out)


Wow, that is great. Especially when people are going through trials or serious illness, they respond to our praying for them so much. Sometimes we can ask a person if they would like us to pray with them right now....or maybe the situation is such that we feel led to pray without asking them. This is our faith in Christ in action....it really touches or reaches people as the Holy Spirit is working through our prayers.
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#12 Debp

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 08:28 PM

Anyone else reaching out to some non-Christians....seeking to be a friend to someone that seems lonely or in need of encouragement? Let the Holy Spirit lovingly minister to them through you. Where there are needs, hearts are more open. As Christians, we should try to reach out in a sincere way to others that don't know Jesus yet.

Being sincere, true-hearted means a lot when we talk with others, as people can sense if we are truly loving them in Jesus or just wanting to force something on them. :cross:
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#13 Debp

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 07:27 PM

Reaching out to others - I have a young friend who is going to college now.  Her parents were raised in a different religion.  Although they are not strict followers of that faith (doing the rituals, etc), they still consider themselves as that faith.  Of course, I pray they and their college-age child will come to know Jesus as their personal Savior.

 

I often think and pray that some kind Christians would befriend my young friend at college.  She is a very nice girl....so far her only close friend in college is Pakistani ancestery.  So please Christians, remember to reach out to others that are not in our own circle of friends or family....


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