Any new business or group always seeks out one thing as a start up: investments. They need someway to pay their way to a successful future. They seek out people who can invest in their dream to allow that dream to come full circle. Investments allow those who invest to own part of the company or business, in ownership and/or in reward.
My advice this week: invest some money. Nah, I’m joking! Some of us have no money to invest (I get that). What I really want to get at this week is investing in the Gospel. “How do we do that? I’m not necessarily comfortable with giving people money.” And to that I say, that is fair. Once my mom handed a man money in a grocery store to buy necessary items for his newborn child. Apparently his newborn child enjoyed beer, because I would later witness the man walk out with a 12-pack. (THIS IS NOT A MESSAGE TO NOT HELP PEOPLE OR EVER GIVE MONEY: I just understand why it is hard to give money nowadays.)
Jesus invested in people. He spent time with people. Get something straight right now: as believers we do not have to continuously shout the name of Jesus to share/spread/show the Gospel. In Luke 15 specifically people complained that Jesus was “welcoming and eating with sinners” (15: 2). Sinners and tax collectors were interested in what Jesus had to teach. And people were actually upset that he was spending time with those living in sin. It was believed that spending time with sinners would almost “rub off on you” if you will. Jesus knocked that wall down real quick. Jesus is finna teach us a lesson.
You want people to love Jesus? Live in a way where when they love you they love Jesus. BOOM. POW. SMACK. Invest time into people. We are often so discouraged as to why people don’t attend church services or our cool church events. Let’s talk singing. Let’s say you like to sing. You walk in to a room of people that are supposedly much better at singing than you. You don’t hear anyone in the room sing but how likely are you to sing in front of individuals supposedly better than you? I wouldn’t be in particular. That’s how church often looks for non-churchy, non-church going human beings. We have to meet them where they are. In parks, restaurants, schools, yada yada, etc., and so on. You get it. They aren’t coming to the church like they used to. They aren’t. We must go to them. And not always to ask them what it means to love Jesus, be saved, or who God is. Maybe it’s to eat. Or watch the game. Or sing. People sing for fun (karaoke, guys-it’s big time). Grow relationships with people. Let them gain a trust in you. Let them learn who you are. Tell them some struggles you have. And eventually you may be able to tell them about some change you experienced a little while ago because of this guy named Jesus.
A great investment brings great reward. The reward of investing in people for the purpose of the gospel? New brothers and sisters in Christ, glorifying God! The great commission (Matthew 28:19-20) tells us to go and make disciples. To lead someone to salvation is one thing. To lead someone to the fullness, and understanding of Christ is another thing. It is FANTASTIC when someone accepts Jesus. But it is devastating for someone to never truly understand what it means to follow Jesus. It is critical to invest in sinners, new believers, and old believers. Investment in people grows trust, love, and understanding.
Love someone. Spend time with the people you normally wouldn’t. Jesus followers: get friends that aren’t following Jesus. AND BE FRIENDS WITH THEM. You do not need to immediately be their life-coach/life-pastor.
Love God. Love People. Love spending time with people.
Do good. Be real. Eat something deep fried.