“You are a sinner and you need Jesus!”
Yes, that is true. We are all sinners and we all need Jesus. But in some circumstances, such blatant confrontations are not wise.
Sometimes a spouse will withhold children from the grandparents as a form of bullying. In some instances, children (whether young or teenagers) bully their parents in order to get what they want. They use tantrums or try to get their parents to feel sorry for them. Some family members will even go so far as to use emotional, mental, and physical abuse to get what they want.
Proverbs 6:18 tells us the Lord hates “a heart that devises wicked schemes.”
Last year, I became convicted about the lack of community ministry by my church and in my own life. Eventually, a small group of people began to feel directed toward a low-income neighborhood less than a mile from our church. After much prayer and many conversations, our church sponsored two events in December: a family Christmas celebration and a Christmas dinner.
My grandfather would sit surrounded with family and friends lounging in the shade of a giant oak tree, sipping sweet tea in the Alabama heat and holding everyone in awe of whatever story he was sharing. Pop was a storyteller; he had the ability to pull everyone out of life’s circumstances and into his story. A great storyteller engages listeners, leaving them eager to hear how the story ends. No matter how gifted the teller, everyone has a story. It may be their life story or the story of one pivotal moment when life changed completely. People have a deep desire to share their personal story.
Picture a stream of 35,000 people crossing the border between Texas and Mexico in a 2-year period. Picture a city of about 700,000 people that is predominately Hispanic. These pictures will give you a vision for church planting in El Paso, Texas.
James Michener wrote, “If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion, and avoid the people, you might better stay home. You are like a pebble thrown in to the water; you become wet on the surface, but you are never part of the water.”
Elijah Wash* says one of the biggest challenges of carrying the gospel message to his West African people group is the rugged mountainous terrain. A heavy rainy season and the amount of travel time limit the work. But God’s story is still being shared through a trekking ministry.