Versus or For?
September 11, 2007, 10:06 pm
Filed under: evangelism

A couple of weeks ago on a Monday, I went to UIC to lead some students in prayer for the new school year. And it was an incredibly encouraging time for me. Something was different. Very different.

As I prayed and thought about it, I realized that the change was this :

In the past, my attitude towards the campus was more US VERSUS THEM. Jerram Barrs, in his book The Heart of Evangelism, writes this :

An “us versus them” mentality can produce fear of the world, a condemning, even hateful attitude toward “sinners”, a desire to retreat into the safe haven of our Christian institutions, and an insistence on personal separation from “sinners”. If we do not know non-Christians in any personal depth, it is evident that the only evangelism that can take place is technique-based raids from behind the wall of the church into the “enemy-occupied territory” of the world.

That accurately described my past attitude when I would come to campus on Wednesdays. Honestly, I wouldn’t really notice people unless they were part of the Servants. And so the thousands of people — souls — on campus who were not part of my “tribe” were just scenery. Not only that, but because I didn’t come to campus too often, I always felt like an outsider there, like I didn’t belong. I never felt comfortable.

However, by the grace of God, His Gospel has been doing a mighty work in my heart. My attitude towards the campus has changed from US VERSUS THEM to US FOR THEM. I have been blessed by God to become a blessing FOR others. How could I have missed this in the past? Jesus Himself said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” He came FOR sinners. And so coming to campus recently has been so different. I notice people. I engage people…talk to them. Not just those who are part of our ministry. And it is a joy. Before, if anything, it was a duty. But now, as I understand more of God’s heart, it is a joy.

I realize I’ve been missing out on the heart of God. Why? I think it’s because I’d been getting wrapped up in Christianity rather than Christ.

All the more reason to become Gospel-centered.


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