Here’s my point with this post: We, as Christians and as churches, should be answering legitimate questions that people have.
What do I mean by that. It’s simple; we are usually answering questions that no one is asking. We may be answering important questions. In fact, often, we are answering the most important question. The problem is most people aren’t asking the questions we are answering, yet.
It’s kind of like me telling my 7 year old how to handle being a freshman in High School while he is in 2nd grade. It would be very important information. In fact, it could be vital information. The only problem is, he isn’t asking me how he should handle being a freshman because he hasn’t even entertained the idea of being freshman. His life circumstances will eventually change, and he will not only need to know this information, he will be seeking to know this information. Of course, my goal is to have the kind of relationship with my sons, that when they get to the point of needing and desiring to know this stuff, I will be there to point the way.
I think this is how we should focus on sharing and living out the Gospel. The message of Jesus is vital, yet most people don’t know that nor do they really care about that. However, they often do have other questions about spirituality. Most people are at least inquisitive about spiritual matters. We should listen to their questions. Possibly we could offer some thoughts and on SOME occasions even be able to offer a legitimate answer. Mostly we should just listen, because in the listening we will learn their perspective. From their questions, we can begin to understand their successes, hurts, fears, passions, and other important details that will make us better friends and show that we genuinely care. In the process, we offer ourselves in service and make the Kingdom of God a reality to be seen rather that just a set of facts to know. They will see the Gospel living through us, and quite probably become interested in why we do what we do, ultimately generating questions about our faith. This doesn’t mean we “hide” or identity in Christ and “spring” it on someone as a surprise. It means that we no longer focus on just getting people to listen to our three point presentation, while talking them into “repenting” and getting their “get-out-of-Hell-free” card. This is not “adding” to the Gospel, it is making the Gospel more fully known.
This, I think, is how to begin sharing Jesus with a Kingdom perspective. This is how to truly bring the Kingdom of God into present reality. I think this changes someones reason and motivation for becoming a Christian. Instead of “accepting” Christ for what they get, they understand their relationship with Christ is about following His Way in sacrificial living for the Kingdom. They know this because they will have seen it at work in our lives. Instead of having shallow “Christians” we could actually see transformed disciples. This is just the beginning of a new way of thinking for me…