Last month we began to talk about the image problem that believers have. If you didn’t read that article, you can find it here. If we are going to be the agents that YHVH uses to bring about restoration, we must first admit that we have big time problems. These are fixable problems but it takes responsibility, patience, grace, mercy, love, effort, energy, finances, and a lot of elbow grease.
As I mentioned last month, we have to get a heart for the lost AGAIN. I don’t mean we reach out to them to convert them to our “flavor” of what we believe is the truth. Reach out to them due to a genuine care for humanity. If the body of Y’shua truly reflected the character and principles of Y’shua, we would see crazy positive results! People would convert to Y’shua instead of converting to a specific brand of denominationalism or a movement because they see something different about us because of our actions.
SOLUTION: In order to purely reflect the character and love of Y’shua, we have to stop being so infatuated with ourselves and whatever club we are members of.
Why not ask an outsider a simple question? What’s your story? It is that simple folks. You see the majority of this age group, 41-26 years old, like to have conversation. Well why not engage in a non threatening manner. So tell me your story! They will usually do the rest and before long you see their values, possibly see their morals, and you see which type of culture or group they identify with. Boom! There is nothing wrong with just listening. If the Spirit leads you to offer advice then go for it but again there is nothing wrong with just lending your ear. If we can show every “outsider”, those who aren’t believers in Y’shua, that we are really interested in them as a person, then we can start to turn the tide and clean this image problem up.
We would see positive change if we could get the revelation that we aren’t responsible for what outsiders decide, but we are responsible and liable when our actions, reactions, and attitudes misrepresent a just set apart loving Almighty God. Many of us quickly forget what YHVH brought us out of verses where He has brought us to today. It’s time to truly repent and stop talking about how we need to repent. We no longer as a body are representing Y’shua nor what he had in mind and it is very evident. Sure we live in a gospel resistant society, I agree, but if we truly loved people we wouldn’t have such an image crisis nor would outsiders resistance be so tenacious.
A serious dialogue could truly begin to take place. The choice is clearly ours. One of the main components to becoming an agent of restoration has to do with deliverance. We need deliverance from our unhealthy narcissistic obsession and infatuation with ourselves and our comfy social clubs. Once we get out of the way and give Y’shua control, Kingdom work will get done.
And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” John 12:32
SOLUTION: Stop with the labels.
When we place a label on someone, we tend to view them as if they aren’t a person or individual but the label instead. For example just to show you how labels work. Millennial. What came to your mind? For most people I bet you had at least a few negative derogatory things that popped into your mind because of that label. If all the negative things said about Millennials are true, have we taken time to listen as to why they may feel how they feel or act the way they act? Every generation is influenced by a number of different factors so of course we aren’t going to see things the same way. If we just write someone off because we don’t see eye to eye is that being like Y’shua? This brings us right back to what I talked about in last month’s piece where we must have a compassionate heart for people again.
Why should we be concerned with outsiders? Their numbers have grown and now they are starting to be a force to reckon with. At the time of this Barna Group study in 2007 there were around twenty-four million outsiders. Each generation is bigger than the previous and their voices are no longer faint. Not sure how many there are now a decade later but safe to say a lot more than twenty-four million. Possibly thirty? I’m not sure because I haven’t seen any data. My point is we may not agree with outsiders views but that doesn’t mean we should ignore them. We’ve been ignoring the outsiders for decades. Many people want to blame the evil worldly heathens, liberals, progressives, and globalists while quickly forgetting our heads were buried in the sand allowing our country to spiritually and morally decay.
It is time to get our heads out of the sand and focus on our purpose and calling in a lost and chaotic world. If we are wanting to bring about restoration that influences a generation we must pay attention to and listen to what outsiders are saying. They are no longer a fringe group. Awesome opportunities for ministry are everywhere around us and it isn’t going to “look” like what “ministry” used to look like.
Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. “Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38
I’m not talking about becoming seeker sensitive or trying to be the most popular. I’m not talking about accommodating and catering to everyone that is an outsider either. I’m talking about ENGAGING a skeptical society and reflecting Y’shua, the life changer, verses a bunch of religious knowledge. The outsiders are here to stay.
Things aren’t going to go back to the way that they were ten to fifteen years ago so we have to move forward and recognize what does faithfulness look like in the moment that YHVH has called us to and act upon it.
Presently 60% of Americans view sharing your faith as extreme. 42% of Americans believe that believers are part of the culture problem we face. See the up hill battle that we face? Living our lives reflecting Y’shua’s character and deeds is our secret weapon that needs to be brought out at this time. We can’t make up for our mistakes that led to our image problem. What we can do is seize the opportunity that YHVH is giving us and start right now portraying a different image.
We can no longer remain silent and on the sidelines while everyone else is in the game playing for their agenda. We have to rethink the way we do ministry in order to address our image problem. Building strong healthy relationships is the only way we accomplish it.