Headlines from First Thoughts

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Needing the Missing

The most important step a Christian must take in developing a relationship with nonbelievers is in his perspective on the relationship. We actually need missing people.

In John 4, Jesus demonstrates how to talk from a position of need rather than a position of superiority or arrogance. He asks, "Will you give me something to drink?" The question is not a strategy; it's a simple request for help. The question indicates how we should approach nonbelievers. We need them, we want them, they can help us, we can learn from them. The process creates conversations, dialogue, and in the case of the woman, conversion.

Imagine how this might revolutionize our relationships and our churches. We have so much to accomplish as Christians in the work of the gospel. We have good news to share, the poor to feed, justice to deliver, mercy to show. We cannot do it alone; we need our communities, friends, and neighbors. We need believers and nonbelievers alike. Non Christians actually share many of our desires. They want to help the poor, serve communities, make a difference, love neighbors, and volunteer. When we ask them to help us, we create opportunities to have conversations. We give them a chance to change their lives. And we learn again what it's like to follow Jesus' model in relationship with others.

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