Go Where They Are
Peggy and I were pastoring our first church when we made
friends with an unsaved couple in our community. We felt compelled to do what
we could to lead them to Christ. So we had to meet them on grounds that were
comfortable to them.
We got together for the first time in a bowling alley. After
three of us had rolled the first frame, my friend got up from the scorer’s
chair, and I slid in to take his place. He had rolled his first ball, and as I
marked his score it suddenly dawned on me that sitting in front of me were his
burning cigarette and open can of beer! I shot from my seat, fearing that a
church member would happen by, think the items were mine, and my first
pastorate would be a short one.
A pastor friend received a call one night from a church
member who asked him to retrieve her alcoholic husband from a bar. He dutifully
complied but did not arrive until the man had drunk himself into a state of
inebriation. The pastor got him to his feet, hooked the man’s arm over his
shoulder, and laboriously struggled out the door.
Just as the two of them staggered onto the street, a church
member drove by, assumed the worst, and started a (short-lived) rumor.
Christians struggle with the tension between the admonition
to “come out from among them and be separate” (2 Corinthians 6:17, NKJV) and
Paul’s example of being “all things to all men, that I might by all means save
some” (1 Corinthians 9:22).
I believe the desire to reach the lost should take us into
some risky places or situations … if that is our purpose for being there. God
certainly opens doors unexpectedly. But sometimes it is up to us to put
ourselves where there are more opportunities for doors to open. I applaud the
many churches and individuals who are finding ways to do that today.
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