One of my mentors used to say, “People will not listen to our message until we show them how much we care about them.” That’s a powerful statement, and I believe it is true. I have been watching events in our nation and world and I am fascinated by what has been transpiring. I am reminded of Jesus’ words in Luke 17:26-30: “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man … it was the same in the days of Lot … it will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.”
No truer words have been said. Jesus knew what He was talking about. Our world has become very much like the days of Noah. Our society is reflecting very much what it was like in the days of Lot. I believe the four angels that are holding the winds of strife are beginning to loosen their grip. Things that you and I would have never dreamed of are happening before our very eyes. We must not turn a blind eye to what is going on. We must engage as a church as never before. Engage is a verb. It means action is needed not just sitting on the sideline, but upon the line.
I had that happen again today in my life. As I was leaving a restaurant, I saw a man sitting at a table. He looked like an everyday, normal person. As I was passing by, he looked at me, and I smiled back at him. I made my way out to my car, but before I could get in, he came near and put out his hand and thanked me for smiling at him. I asked why he thanked me. He responded that his day, and frankly his life, at this moment reflected today’s gloomy, rainy weather. He said that my smile was like a breath of fresh air. It was sunshine for his soul. He opened up and shared with me that he was homeless and yes, he needed help, but what he really needed was encouragement, and my smile was what the doctor ordered. Praise God! He shared with me that God had helped him through some tough times before and he was sure that God would get him through now. We visited for several minutes. As we parted, sharing our faith in Jesus with one another, it was fist-bumps of joy!
Now is the time to get involved with our neighbors, co-workers, families and friends. There is no more time to live our lives on auto-pilot. We can no longer be satisfied with business as usual. Instead, we need to build friendships. We need to build strong ties and relationships. We need to help meet the needs of the people around us. And then we need to share the good news of Jesus Christ. It is time that we fulfill Matthew 24:14 in our own lives. Genuine impact means more than being a church; it means we are a movement with the Holy Spirit’s power and purpose! Let’s be bold and fired up to make a positive impact on people’s lives and share our story with anyone who is willing to listen. Your impact is vital to the completion of the mission. Will you engage now?
By Richard C. Dye, Sr., President