There is a progression that I believe Christians should be aware of as they lead others toward Christ.
Those who have been de-churched, or who have had a negative experience with another Christian, or who have become disenchanted with the Church, make factual statements about Christians and Church.
“The Church is….”
But if are truly the salt of the earth and the light of the world, we can season and shine in a way that will cause them to question their own factual statements.
Next comes: ?
“The Christian Church exists to reveal God and to utter forth His praise, to make God known to men who know Him not, that in the presence of the revelation they may be filled with awe, and wonder, and amazement—to make God known, that God shall be attractive to humanity.” —G. Morgan Campbell
“This is Church?”
“You’re a Christian?”
Which leads to: !
Jesus stated that the greatest of all commandments—indeed the fulfillment of all the commandments—was loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength and then loving others as we love ourselves. Once people see Christians as true representations of Christ … people so intent on loving God and loving others, they too will find what their hearts have been longing for.
“This is what I’ve been looking for!”
“Now this is what I call a real Church!”
Can I suggest an easy place to start? With your smile. Look at what Job said:
Men listened to me expectantly, waiting in silence for my counsel. After I had spoken, they spoke no more; my words fell gently on their ears. They waited for me as for showers and drank in my words as the spring rain. When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them. (Job 29:21-24)
Living in this way can move people from close-minded skeptics, to curious questioners, to enthusiastic followers of Jesus Christ. Let’s do this!