Last time we saw that we, the Church, need to change. The first change desperately needed is for each of us – and thus the Church -to simplify.
The second change we need to incorporate into our lives as disciples of Jesus if we want to be dangerous Christians is to REMEMBER JESUS
This principle seems obvious, but it’s one we commonly forget, so let me state it again: If we want to reach lost people, we have to follow the example of Jesus.
Jesus liked people. Yes, he loved them, but have you ever stopped to think that he also enjoyed spending time with people? He really liked them. People mattered to him, and more than making a name for himself or satisfying his own comforts, Jesus taught us and showed us that he “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28 NIV).
Luke 15:1 tells us that the tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. These were people who would not be accepted in the synagogues of the day, yet they came to hear him speak. We consistently find that the very people who were rejected by the religious leaders intentionally sought him out. And he was never put off by them but remained approachable, humble, even likable.
Obviously, Jesus didn’t drive a car, but I imagine that if he did drive, he wouldn’t take the special spot close to the door of the Church. Jesus didn’t seek out privileges for himself; he wasn’t interested in raising money (he never really owned anything) or building monuments so he would be remembered. Instead he started with twelve nobodies and began a global spiritual revolution that is unprecedented in human history. Buildings from that time have fallen to ruin, and empires have faded away, but his community of followers has grown and spread his teachings throughout the world.
It’s hard to criticize Jesus. Where do we find fault with the way he lived? He lived out what he taught, and he demonstrated the sincerity of his convictions by sacrificing his life for the sake of truth. He gave up everything so people could find and come to know the love of God. Jesus focused his mission on serving and caring for people; he cared for the individual and wasn’t just interested in attracting a crowd.
I know that I have a tendency, when I get busy or focused on getting things done, to blow past people to get to the next task, but Jesus set a different example for me. In each and every moment, he was focused on where he was, who he was with, and what God wanted to do.
As his followers, we can’t live this out perfectly, but shouldn’t our intention be to follow his example, to advance what he began, to live how he taught us to live? Jesus died so that grace would prevail and the world would know that we are his followers, through the quality of our love: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35 NIV).
If we want the world to know who Jesus is, we will need to die to some of our old ways of doing things and embrace a new way of living so that we become dangerous.