In John chapter 12, verse 19, we find this statement: “The world has gone after Jesus!” Now, let’s ask ourselves, is this true in our community? Are they being drawn to the Church? If not, why not? Could it be that they don’t see Jesus there? You see, it’s possible to go through the motions of “doing church” and performing all kinds of religious activity and completely miss Jesus! We can be so caught up in church activities that we miss the One by whose Name we are supposedly ministering. And, unfortunately, people who are headed for an eternity separated from God are also missing Jesus because of it!
In verse 21 of that same chapter, there are some Greeks (whom we might refer to as the unchurched) who were among the crowds following Jesus around. They came to one of Jesus’ disciples and said, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus!” There are unchurched people in our community who are looking at you and me every day as representatives of Him, and they’re saying, “We wish to see Jesus!”
People today don’t trust organized Christianity, and justifiably so. Current statistics tell us that an unchurched person will be most likely to respond to the gospel message through what is called lifestyle evangelism. Lifestyle evangelism occurs when believers build close relationships with those they work with or are neighbors to, and over the process of time earn the right to share the hope that is in them as God opens the door of hearts. Why does this work? Because it allows them to see the reality of the difference Jesus makes demonstrated in a life!
The question is this: Can they see Jesus in me and you? You see, everything we do is scrutinized by those around us, whether we realize it or not. What we say, what we do, and how we respond to life’s struggles is being evaluated daily. Why? Because people want to know if this Jesus we gather together on Sunday to worship is for real! People are looking for something real to hang their life on. Will they find it in OUR lives? Will they see Jesus in our lives? In Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth, chapter 3, he says it this way, “We are a letter read by all men (vs 2)!” So, what are they reading? In his book, In The Grip Of Grace, Max Lucado put it like this: “Jesus is the Door to eternal life, but the Church is the screen door!”
Are we as the church “screening” people away from Jesus? Are we so caught up in buildings and activities that we have forgotten what ministry is all about? May I dare say that someone who is hurting is more concerned about the fact that you care the name of the church you attend. And they will be more likely to go to church if they’ve witnessed Jesus alive in you! They would say to you and me, “We want to see Jesus!”
You see, Jesus is attractive! People don’t reject Jesus, but poor caricatures of Him (you and me). Let’s endeavor to, by faith, simply let Jesus live His life through us and allow Him to love those in our circle of influence. Then those who would never consider going to church will see the Christ we worship in us and be drawn to Him! Let’s show them Jesus!