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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

An open door

by Brad Houchin
Last week, I was able to spend two days in Hattiesburg, MS serving families who have been greatly affected by the tornado that hit the city on February 10. The path of destruction left behind by this storm will forever change the lives of many families. It will take months and even years for parts of the city to be rebuilt. 

A storm like this creates a large physical need for response. At one point during the day, I stopped working to look down the road at all the volunteers serving in and out of so many yards and homes. Many were carrying food and water to families and other volunteers. The sounds of chainsaws cutting trees off of cars and homes, blue tarps being nailed to roofs to cover holes, raking and clearing debris from yards, and crews completely emptying some homes of all of the contents and hauling them to the side of the road for trash. I noticed church vans from all over Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Florida and Missouri. I was simply in awe of God’s Church as it was responding relevantly to the needs of this community.

A relevant response to a need opens the door for evangelism.

Everyone has needs and we all need others to respond to our needs at times. Some may need food or a drink, or even a place to lay their head at night; while others may need help with an overwhelming project or simply a friend who will listen and be there for them. One need connects us all together, and that is our need for a relationship with Jesus Christ.

What are some of the needs of those around you? Family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc…

Like the example that Jesus gives us in John 4 (in the story of the Woman and the Well), a relevant response to a need opens the door for evangelism.

John 4:10-15, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?  Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,  but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

The door for evangelism has been flung wide open in Hattiesburg. There is a huge opportunity to reach a city for Christ, and it goes way beyond putting a blue tarp on a roof and cutting up a tree. But often, it takes meeting a person right in their physical and/or emotional need for the door to be opened so we can speak to their spiritual need of entering into a relationship with Jesus Christ. 

What are some ways you can respond to the needs of people around you?

How might your response to these needs, open the door for you to share about their need for Christ?

Will you respond?

Evangelism is one of the evidences of what Relevant Ministry calls - the "7 Marks of Spiritual Health".  RM Coaching helps to assess all 7 Marks, providing an insightful check-up for personal spiritual health.  The RM team is writing about all 7 Marks, focusing on one topic a month with a new Blog article each week.  The topic this month is Evangelism.  Please feel free to comment and join in on the conversation.

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RM’s vision - to equip leaders to minister relevantly in churches that will be healthy and thriving.

Relevant Ministry Inc.
Training future leaders - Building healthy ministries - Serving on the Gulf Coast

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