Invest & Invite

Invest & Invite by Pastor Brian Stanley, Regular Contributor
In Luke 19:10 we find Jesus' mission statement, "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."  I believe that every time Jesus met a person, he considered it a divine appointment.  I believe that every time Jesus met a person, he likely always had a couple thoughts in mind; how much he loved them, and inviting them into relationship as well as the Kingdom.  Jesus came for people. This was embodied through every relationship he had coupled with every deed done and every syllable spoken. I'd be less than honest if I were to say I had that level of focus and concern for people (please don't be a hater - hey, I'm no superman ;-). I want to have that passion and focus for others, but it's easy to forget the mission. The ho-hum daily grind of life can do that to you if you're not carefully tuned into the heart of Christ and the direction of the Holy Spirit in our daily affairs.

The reality is that every day we pass and meet many people.  We talk about the weather, banter about our sports teams, or jointly gripe about our jobs or lot in life.  In keeping with the title of one of John Maxwell's latest books, Everyone Communicates, Few Connect.  Speaking for myself, the hectic busy nature of life in the fast lane often times keeps me from looking at people with the same mission and motive that Christ would see.  I often times hear people say, 'I just don't know anyone to invite to church'.  On the surface that feels like a valid argument, but it's usually far from reality.  Do you go to the gas station? Do you go to the store? Do you go to the bank?  Do you work with other people? Do you attend sports and activities your kids participate in? Do you go to the gym? Do you go to Wal-Mart, K-Mart, or the mall?  Do you live next door to anyone?  The point is that every day people are before us.  We typically just don't have the mission of Christ presently in mind when we meet, greet, or interact with them. I am working to change that about myself.

I want to see every person I meet as a divine appointment.  If they are a brother or sister in Christ, I want to encourage and help them.  If they are an unbeliever, I want to acknowledge that the condition of their soul is the most important thing in my world at that moment.  If they do not have a church family, I want to be the one who cares enough about their eternity to invite them to an experience with Christ and relationship with his people.  If I know of any need in their life (help on a project, financial strain, help with the kids, a friend to talk to, etc.) I want to meet that need.  I want to invest into their life.  Even the lives of complete strangers.  As I invest into someone's life, I put myself in a connected relationship and build the opportunity and credibility to then invite them to church and to a relationship with Jesus. And that is the mission.
     
I think this heart and mindset should be our guide each and every day, with each and every person we meet.  Thinking like this will grow your heart and it will grow the kingdom.  In the weeks ahead, we have the perfect 'event' (if you will) to guide and direct our efforts.  That 'event' is the Easter season.  A season of great celebration and hope.  A season in which people are naturally curious about the Christian faith and the person and work of a guy named Jesus.  My personal challenge (for myself and your mission if you should choose to accept it) is to make introducing people to Jesus my chief calling every day with every person I meet.  Would you accept that challenge?  Will you choose to be about investing and inviting others?  What difference could we make if we all took on that mission?  How would your life change in pursuing that calling? How different would Lifehouse look as a church if we truly owned Jesus' mission?  I believe radically, intensely, amazingly, and awesomely different!  Join me in joining Jesus' mission. Eternity hangs in the balance.  People hang in the balance.  Love people enough to care less about yourself; your schedule, your errands, your reputation and your pride. Find someone today in whom you can begin investing.  Today, invite someone to church.  Today, introduce someone to the hope that you have in Christ.  Today, seek and save that that which is lost.

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