Jesus said, Come with me, and I will teach you to catch men.
Christians ought to be like-minded in their love for Christ, united in spirit for God’s purposes; seeking peace-not arguing amongst each other regarding manner of worship, modes of dress, church methodologhy and other non-essential doctrine. Our role-model should always be Jesus. What did He do? He had compassion for the harassed and helpless people as He walked among the crowds, knowing that they were sheep without a shepherd. He went through the villages teaching, preaching, driving out evil spirits, and healing sickness and disease. Christ spoke to the people in simple parables so that they could understand the spiritual meaning of His message. But there were too many people for Him to handle alone. So, He gave the disciples the authority to do everything He was doing and instructed each of them to spread the message to specific groups of people.
All Christians are ministers of the message of salvation. However, no one person can reach everyone. No one person can be everything to everyone. Different people have different ways of communicating the same thing. Different people also respond differently to the same thing. Simply put, not all fish are attracted to the same bait.
People are inclined to listen to those who make them feel comfortable. Having something in common with people creates a bond that makes communication easier. Unfamiliar ground is uncomfortable; sometimes unfamiliar ground is even scary. But, establishing common ground isn’t a matter of faking interest or forcing ourselves to keep an open mind while making small talk. Connecting with someone at the heart level means having compassion for someone elses’ pain because we’ve been where they now are.
We believers arrive at our salvation through different paths. That path is the familiar ground which enables us to communicate with certain people in a way that they can understand. Effectiveness for God depends on our ability to reach people where they are-not where we are. People are searching for answers to help them get through their problems. Let’s not assume that our Christian commonality has given us the same perspectives. Do you know who you can relate to best? The first step is to establish where you came from.
Some of us didn’t know anything about God or about Christ. We lived in total spiritual darkness, and became alcoholics, drug addicts, thieves, liars, murderers, abusers, and the sexually immoral. We were involved in the occult; we saw and felt evil. We came to the cross on bloody knees because we had to fight the demons to get here.
Some of us were taught about Christ but never received Him into our hearts. For some of us life was always an emotional roller-coaster ride. The messages we heard at our occasional church attendance never made a difference in our lives because the Bible was just a book on the shelf. Pride kept us in the driver’s seat. Wanting total control over our destiny, we did not involve God in our daily lives.
Some of us grew up in Christian homes, always involved in the church. But years of ritual, church doctrine and religious hypocrisy wore us out. So, we walked out of the church, turning away from God, because we confused rigid religion with Christianity. We replaced God’s central position in our hearts for good works, careers, families, hobbies and education. We became modern day idol worshippers. Some of us have never known anything else but the Christian life. We grew up in Christian homes, have always been involved in the church and continually share our faith with others. For this group of believers bible study and prayer is as natural as breathing.
Our differences are the tools we can use to build and expand the kingdom of God. We may share the message to others in different ways but the message is the same. We should never criticize anyone for sharing Christ in their own way. Someone is traveling the road you once traveled, they are lost and need to find a reason for living. You know the pitfalls, the dangerous curves, and the only way out of the wilderness they are traveling. Someone may die without the roadmap that’s in your hand. Show them the way.