It has been rare in my life, especially growing up in the church, that I have met genuine Christ-Followers who I know I can trust and who I know are not a bunch of talk; people who genuinely love Jesus and love people. I count it a privilege every time I get to hangout with my brothers from other mothers, Shane and Drew. I got to do that last night.
Last week, Shane spoke at the Bible study for the substance abuse program I manage. Shane was raw and genuine with the men and he connected with a lot of them on a personal level. Shane had the opportunity to talk with some of the guys after the meeting one-on-one as well. As early as the next day some of the men were asking when Shane was going to return to speak for them again. This group is made up of non-believers, Christians and followers of other faiths (i.e. Islam). These men are not worried about style or appearance or professionalism; things that a lot of us get caught up with in the modern, American church; these men care about being cared about and about others being real with them. Shane made an eternal impact for some of these men because he chose to be present and he preached Jesus.
Last night, Shane and Drew took some time out of their day to play flag football with these same men. We all had a blast, especially since our team destroyed our opponents. Shane tweeted this following the game, “Felt more like a Christ follower tonight playing flag-football than in a long time. #Jesusandfishermen” We didn’t sit down with the men and have a Bible study and we didn’t preach them a message, we simply chose to be present. It is my hope that through our presence these men know that they are loved and cared for, that they are no less of a person than the guy who seemingly has it all together. We laughed with them, we high-fived them, we cheered for them and bragged on them. We communicated through our actions that no matter what they have done, they were still important enough to play football with. Isn’t that how God responds to us? No matter what we we have done, God stepped into our field and put us on his team through his Son, Jesus.
Shane has already shared that message and I can’t wait until Drew gets to share that same message with these men as well. Some would criticize us for not sharing the gospel on the spot, but that’s okay, because we lived it and we have an open door to keep living it and in those moments we speak it, these men will be hungry to listen because they know we love them and our words are supported with loving actions. Drew’s testimony is awesome and I know he is going to reveal Jesus in a powerful way. Drew has already opened the door for these men to hear him out because he made a choice to be present. That’s just one of the reasons I am thankful for my buddies, Shane and Drew, because I can trust them (except for Drew, I don’t trust him around my family and that’s why he has never met them) and they genuinely love Jesus and other people.
Join the Conversation…How can you impact people’s lives eternally by choosing to be present? When is the last time you chose to be present in someone’s life and it led to a great eternal impact as a result of your influence?