Rev. Greg Conover
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the
Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with
Part Three: Dine
Part one was to Die, remember Christ and His completed work for us. To die to self and
rely on Jesus and Him alone. Part two was Due Diligence, meaning that we need to
really get to know those God put in our lives so we can speak the unchanging truth of
Jesus into an ever-changing world. Part Three is Relationships. While this may seem
like Due Diligence it is actually how we can do Due Diligence.
Do we hang out with the same kind of people Jesus did? Are we called “friends of
sinners” and do eat with them? It’s hard to reach the lost if we’re not with the lost. In the
last several months, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to pastors and leaders of many
churches and many have said, “we want to reach our community especially the young;
millennials; or any other group.” So I asked the questions: Are you engaging them? Are
you inviting them to your homes? Are you willing to “be all things to all to all people?”
Today’s world doesn’t think like the world of 40 years ago. We live in the world of the
“nones” where folks not only don’t go to church, they don’t really have any beliefs. They
check the “none” box when asked about religious affiliations.
This means that they don’t think like us. Our starting points are not even close. We’re to
start with dialogue, dining and relationships. This is what might be called “preevangelism.”
Yes, we’re to bring them to an understanding of the work and person of
Jesus, but this takes time. It takes building relationships in our homes, over meals, over
coffee and more. Jesus did so much ministry over meals and one day we will have an
amazing banquet together as we eat at His return. Meals move men. Dinner opens
dialogue. Supper sooths souls. Eat together! Watch this video which describes the
impact of eating together: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDuA9OPyp6I
My three posts on Evangelism are not new. When we think of the summation of the Ten
Commandments, “Love God – Love Neighbor” these posts are built with this in mind.
We rightfully can love God when we remember what He did for us, which daily changes
us into His image. And since we’re so dearly loved, we in-turn have the power to love
our neighbors… sinners like us.