Societal changes seem to be taking place at the speed of light. With these changing times, more churches must adapt their approach or risk becoming irrelevant. Christians must consider ways to think outside the box. Every believer and pastor must evangelize outside their comfort zones. One of the biggest problems with the 21st century pastorate concerns the Christian view of how a pastor interacts with the masses. We must expect sinners to talk and act like sinners!
Every believer (especially pastors) must figure out how to reach the unreachable and approach the unapproachable. Relationships must be built in loving compassion before calamity hits! Believers must use every opportunity to build these relationships, knowing that most of them involve the less-thankful tasks of planting and watering. Pastor Jim Vail wrote such a story of relationship building.
Pastor Vail wrote: “Rock was a big-time biker who had developed cancer. I went to visit and befriend him. He was friendly and welcoming but would say cringe-worthy things! After a few visits, it seemed apparent that talking about Christ was not something he welcomed. Determined to befriend him, I visited him almost weekly, enduring his often foul language and ideas of life and death.
“His declining health became evident by his weight loss and his turning yellow from liver failure. One day I said, ‘Rock, I know you don’t want to hear about Jesus Christ, but soon you may no longer be alert and oriented. If you change your mind about him, you will need to know and understand how to be forgiven by God of all your sins and how to know that you have eternal life! If I promise not to pressure you into anything, can I give you the knowledge of how to become right with the Lord?’ He agreed.
“I sat next to him with my Bible and asked him to read and explain selected passages about sin, God’s justice, and hell. He explained them fairly well. Suddenly, in shock, he gasped: ‘I’m in trouble! I’m going to hell!’ I then had him read about the deity of Jesus Christ, His sacrificial death on the cross, His resurrection from the dead, and promises of eternal life to those who repent of their sins by trusting in Jesus Christ.
“Suddenly, he burst into tears as he exclaimed that he had never heard or understood this before! ‘I want Jesus Christ for me… NOW! Can I ask Him to forgive me right now? I want Him to be MY Savior!’ As I held his hand, he poured his heart out to the Lord, sobbing the whole time. Afterwards, he had me promise to conduct his funeral and tell this good news to all attending.
“The following day, his wife phoned my office. ‘Rock is a new man! He is cheerful, sweet, and loving… and all he wants to do is talk about Jesus and pray together! Thank you!’ I went to see Rock almost every day and grew to love him as a dear brother. His mind never lost its alertness. We would study, pray, and cry tears of joy together. A few weeks later, Rock called his family to his bedside and said, ‘Let’s pray together!’
“They each prayed, and then Rock prayed. Then he smiled, closed his eyes and went to be with his beloved Savior. A few days later, I kept my promise to my dear friend and told a packed crowd what Jesus Christ had done for Rock and what He could do for them!”
Will you ask God if He wants you to explore new avenues of reaching the unreachable by approaching the unapproachable?
Dr. Doug Stauffer is pastor of Faith Independent Baptist Church. He was saved July 6, 1980, in Niceville, while stationed at the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base and has now been in the ministry for over 35 years. He has written 20 books including the best selling “One Book” trilogy (“One Book Rightly Divided, One Book Stands Alone, One Book One Authority”); along with several devotionals (“Daily Strength” series); and prophecy books (“Reviving the Blessed Hope, When the End Begins”).