The famous preacher, Charles Spurgeon, was getting ready to preach to thousands at his church in London when he made the most unusual request. He asked his entire congregation to leave and go home to make room for non-believers who were waiting outside and could not fit indoors. Astonishingly, everyone left and the auditorium filled again with non-believers, who now had the chance to hear the Gospel for the first time.
PASSION AND RELEVANCE
This was not the only time Spurgeon challenged people to make room for the lost. He and his church had a true Passion for the Harvest, sacrificing their own spiritual edification for the sake of those who did not know Jesus. In addition, congregations all over the world have chosen to model Culturally Relevant Evangelism by changing their Sunday services to be more accessible to those without Christ.
Missionaries of all nationalities and denominations leave the comforts of their culture and move to distant, often difficult, places to share the Gospel of Christ with complete strangers. They learn a new language and culture just to communicate the Gospel, a process that often takes years. This requires both a passion for the harvest and a culturally relevant approach.
BECOME ALL THINGS
The apostle Paul said,
I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.
— 1 Corinthians 9:22
It takes passion to be willing to give up the comforts of your own culture and “become all things to all people.” Paul would never compromise the integrity of the Gospel itself, but the way he communicated the message changed with every cultural circumstance.
Two thirds of the world have yet to make a decision for Christ. If you and I are to be effective in reaching them, sacrifices need to be made. Consider these possibilities:
We may have to sacrifice our Saturday morning rest to love on underprivileged children and orphans.
We may have to give up our favorite Christian worship songs to play something non-believers can relate to.
We may have to risk our reputation by hanging out with the outcasts.
We may have to sacrifice our material wealth and give to the less fortunate.
We may even have to sacrifice our own health to come near and touch those who are ill and dying.
The list goes on and on. I'm sure you can think of many more, but my hope is that you will put some of these to practice.
What are you sacrificing for the sake of the harvest? What else is God asking you to give up so the lost may find salvation in Christ?
by Norival Trindade