I felt selfish this morning. Here I am, on Twitter, following all kinds of random people for one reason: to get more followers.
You see, I began a Twitter account for Cross Words Ministries, and now I'm striving to reach out to as many people possible.
I did the same thing a few weeks ago on Facebook. After setting-up a page for this ministry, I invited all of my friends to like it and encouraged others to spread the word.
Sorry Instagram. Maybe sometime.
Anyway, these types of actions make me feel selfish. They create within me this sense of "I'm doing it for me." It makes me feel horrible. I mean, I might-as-well get one of those "follower" apps on the App Store to get what I want. But, then again, perhaps that isn't what I want. Perhaps I just want to reach more people for Jesus Christ.
I mean, there isn't anything wrong with reaching people for Jesus is there?
"I press on to REACH the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us" (Philippians 3:14 NLT).
"Jesus REACHED out and touched him. 'I am willing,' he said. 'Be healed!' And instantly, the leprosy disappeared" (Luke 5:13).
"All of this is for your benefit. And as God's grace REACHES more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory" (2 Corinthians 4:15).
There isn't a problem with the desire to reach people for Jesus. However, there are three things that we all need to keep in mind as we do so.
1. We should strive to reach for the individuals in the group, not the group as a whole.
As I've written and spoken blogs and devotionals, I've come across some interesting situations while reaching people for Christ. There have been times when I didn't get hardly any views, likes, or shares. However, ONE person that needs Jesus was greatly impacted. ONE person was affected. ONE person - spoken or unspoken - experienced God. And let me tell you something, ONE person coming closer to Christ makes every second of this ministry worth it!
That's why I am giving you this first point to keep in mind while reaching people. As much as I'd like to see a thousand followers, 20 shares, and hundreds of likes, I would much rather see someone broken and hurting restored. Therefore, it is important that we strive to reach the group at an individual level. Individuals matter. Individuals are hurting. Individuals need redemption. Individuals - the ones that make the group - need Jesus.
2. The problem isn't reaching out, it is comparing your reach to someone else's.
I struggle greatly with this. In fact, it is this very important part that I often miss while reaching people for Christ.
How's come some ministries get millions of views on YouTube while I can't even get a hundred?
How's come I only have 184 followers on Instagram while others have thousands? Millions?
I wonder if the Facebook page will ever break 200 likes?
Will my website ever get to where I want it. I mean, you should see how amazing______is!
Okay. Maybe you don't compare your reach to someone else's the same way that I do. But have you ever said, "Wow! I wish I could preach like_____. Write like________. Live like________. Read the Bible like_______. Pray like_______. Sing like_______. Love like______. LIKE....LIKE...LIKE...it is a word of comparison.
Comparison is the last thing you need while reaching people. The truth is simply this: since when have we decided that reaching people for Jesus is a competition? Many churches and ministries don't team-up because they are too busy comparing their successes of reaching people. WE ARE ON EACH OTHER'S TEAM, SO QUIT TRYING TO WIN! It's not about popular or personal gain. It's all about bringing people to Jesus.
3. Reach with the arm God has given you - on the platform he has called you to.
There's nothing greater than embracing the platform that God has given you. Yeah, I said it! YOU HAVE A UNIQUE, GOD-GIVEN PLATFORM FOR YOUR MINISTRY TO GOD. He has called you to something ONLY YOU can COMPLETE. That means you are irreplaceable.
If God didn't call you to be a pastor, don't be one. If God didn't call you to be in the military, don't join the military. If God didn't call you to Africa, it's okay.
It is truly rewarding to reach with the arm (abilities, resources, gifts, talents) that God has given us on the platform (school, work, internet, social media, sports) that he has called us to.
"Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:19-20).
That's Jesus's Great Commission. He wants us TO REACH PEOPLE FOR THE KINGDOM.
The key to living in an uncertain world is taking the steps in front of you that you know God has called you to take. What steps has God placed on your heart that still haven't been taken? What gifts, talents, and resources has God called you to use?
As you strive to reach people for Jesus Christ, keep these three things in mind! They sure do make a difference!