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Falling Down While Reaching Out  

“How did your church’s outreach event go?” I asked my friend Jack.

“Went well—once it got started. The guy who rented us the equipment showed up 30 minutes late and took another 20 minutes to set up. So we had fifty people roaming the halls at church waiting for an event that started almost an hour late.”

“Not cool.”

“Not at all. I felt sick—like instead of hosting our guests, we’d given them a black eye.”

“Isn’t that a little harsh, Jack?”

“Maybe. But inside, I was seething—and I was blunt with the installation guy. Not over the top, but not exactly Jesus-like, either.”

“Ouch. I’ve been there.”

"Well, we talked further—the rental guy and me. He talked all about his business—how demand has been shrinking year after year. Yet, he worked hard. And honestly, he seemed to enjoy creating a happy experience for us.”

“How did it all end?” I had to know.

Jack admitted, “I…apologized to him for being gruff—and he was super nice about it. Still, I felt like a jerk. I was in charge of an outreach event designed to share Christ, but I sure didn't reach out to that installer guy at first! Ironic, eh?"

 

Have you ever been guilty of behaving like Jack (who gave me permission to share his story—warts and all)?

I think of my unkind conversations with arrogant tech support people. Or the un-Christlike ways I’ve conducted myself in traffic jams.

But for the Christian, there’s no on/off switch when it comes to outreach. We're to show Christ, preach Christ, and image Christ all day, every day. No room for tantrums of any sort.

Christmas is coming. And things are bound to go wrong at your church program or extended family dinner. Or whatever function you've invited non-believers to attend.

How can we sing Joy to the World and pray that our unsaved guests will have hearts that “prepare Him room”—when we’ve practically elbowed Jesus out of the room with our poor conduct?

 

Lord, as we gather with those outside the Kingdom over the holidays, help us not lose sight of the Kingdom—or the King! Let us image Christ well—even when things fall apart. Amen!

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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