To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 1 Cor. 9:20-22

The small church I pastor here in Colorado faces a challenge that I’m sure isn’t unique, but is still a real hurdle.  The challenge is finding the connection point with people.  Many mountain town people moved there out of a desire to be more remote and less connected.  So the traditional idea that we just need to keep inviting people to church doesn’t always work the greatest.  We can have the greatest services in the world, but that likely won’t be enough. There is certainly a big role for the gathering of people to worship, but more is needed. 

In Paul’s writing above he describes how he adapts his approach to outreach to match the needs and situations of those he is trying to reach. He doesn’t change the gospel, but he does change his approach to sharing the gospel.  There is a big lesson in that for the church in 2019.  It is not the responsibility of the unreached to find their way to us.  It is our job to find our way to them.  And while we’re on that subject, it is no different for us as individuals.  Are we relating and ministering to people at our work, at our golf course, and at our local watering hole in a way that connects with them…that builds a bridge for the gospel?

That was Jesus style ministry.  He did ministry along the road, at the dinner table and in the streets, as well as the church.  What’s more, this kind of ministry can be fun. In August, our church conducted our 3rdannual Meat Smoking Event in the Big R parking lot.  We smoked meat, taught people to smoke meat, and ate smoked meat with people as they did their Saturday morning errands. We have two families in our church today that first connected with us over smoked meat.  We have also done fly fishing clinics to meet people. Now they don’t always have dramatic results, but we were able to meet and have conversations with people who we would have never met otherwise.

What are some ways you could become all things to all people to build connections for the gospel?  Here is a hint. They will probably be in the everyday places you do life.  And if you’re lucky it will involve eating smoked brisket!

Live this week on purpose,
Ron Klopfenstein

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