“Well, that depends,” I answered, “on whether you’re trying to make converts or disciples.
“When you try to make a convert,” I said, “you’re hoping to bring somebody around to your worldview. You want them to believe all the things you believe. As a Christian, you might want them to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that he was born of a virgin, that he rose from the dead, etc. And if you try to do that here, at the Jewish Community Center, you might lose your job.
“But making a disciple is different,” I said. “Look at the way Jesus made them: he didn’t ask those fishermen to believe that he was the Son of God, he just asked them to follow him. It was only after months of listening to him preach and teach, watching him help and heal, that Jesus asked them, ‘Who do you say that I am?’ And that’s when Peter said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!’
“So, why not simply invite people to join you in Christ’s mission, instead of trying to convert them to a Christian worldview? Eventually they will come to see him for who he really is.”
And then I talked to Peter about his work as a personal trainer. I said, “You don’t want people to sit out in the lobby and read fitness magazines; you want them to come in here and work out. You don’t want them only to believe that exercise is good for them; you want them to experience it. When they do, you won’t have to convince them; they will know it for themselves. That’s the difference,” I said, “between a convert and a disciple.”
In yesterday’s blog I mentioned Warren and Julie Pierce, who have been helping refugees get resettled here in Richmond. Today I want to share this invitation from Julie (below) to help out with a massive clothing distribution for New Americans (i.e. refugees) this Saturday. This could be your opportunity to follow Jesus in discipleship and to invite someone else to come with you. You don’t have to say, “If you died tonight do you know where you would spend eternity?” (the standard street-corner evangelist’s question). You can just say, “Hey, I’m going to help distribute clothes to refugees on Saturday…
“Want to come?”
Dear ones, this is a two part message –
(1) an opportunity for you to bring heaven to earth and
(2) an update on the New American ministry
We appreciate your time in reading this, and also your response whether in person or through much needed prayer.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35, NKJV).
We are offering another of our quarterly massive clothing distribution events hosted by Westover Baptist Church, 1000 Westover Hills Boulevard, just across the Nickel Bridge.
Saturday, February 9th
8:00-9:00am Team needed at Outreach Center** to load clothing bins & hanging clothes – transport to Westover BC and unload (trucks/station wagons needed)
9:00-10:30am Set up team needed to unpack and display clothing on tables and on hanging racks
10:30-11:30am Actual event
11:30am-noon Break down – load bins/racks and transport back to Outreach Center, all leftover clothing to Goodwill
12:00-12:30pm Sweep and clean church
All done in ½ day!
Any questions, please respond to this email and if you can volunteer for all or part, thanks for letting us know. If you have donations, you may bring them on that day to Westover BC, however, they must be received during the set up time between 9:00-10:30am. Thanks for bringing dresses, blouses, all coats and men’s shirts on hangers if possible on that day. We are in desperate need of coats, hoodies, sweaters; all sizes, all types. We have very few men’s clothes at this time. Please take a look in your closets and get those to us before February 9th.
**Outreach Center address: 2944 West Marshall St. 23230 3rd building back from corner faces Altamont, yellow w/brown doors.
Editor’s Note: Julie is being ordained as a deacon tonight. Do you see what happens when you begin to follow Jesus and work alongside him to bring heaven to earth? People notice.