Alex Enabnit – Research Editor
To finish our “Out of the Ordinary” series, Scott Jones talked about how we can have appeal as Christians.
These days, the word “Christianity” tends to have a negative connotation in many circles. Judgmental, anti-homosexual, or hypocritical are all words that have been used to describe Christians in surveys and polls. This is in stark contrast to what we read in Acts 2, where followers of Christ were actually favored by non-Christians! So in today’s world, how do we get back to a place where we can have extraordinary appeal once again? In the message, Scott gave us three practical ways:
1. Start with humanity instead of Christianity.
Part of the early church’s appeal was that they saw people the way Jesus did – with compassion, regardless of background. This is important because the way we SEE people is generally the way we TREAT people.
2. Invite people to belong before they believe
The common sentiment is unfortunately, “If you fit in, you can come in.” But throughout history, the communities with the most impact were those that invited people in and accepted them as they were, and after hanging around long enough, those people became Jesus followers too!
3. Hold to truth but lead with grace.
Jesus is the embodiment of truth, but He leads with grace. Like in the story of the woman caught in adultery, Jesus could have quoted the ten commandments at her (you shall not commit adultery), but instead tells her “I don’t condemn you.” He leads with grace! But He also follows with truth – “Leave your life of sin.” Similarly, we need to learn to have grace for people around us, but also hold to truth. These two values work only when they are together.
Verses and quotes from the message:
Acts 2:42-47; Matthew 16:18; John 1:14, 8:11; Ephesians 2:8
“Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic.” Martin Luther King Jr
“Tolerance isn’t about not having beliefs. It’s about how your beliefs lead you to treat people who disagree with you.” Tim Keller
This is Amazing Grace – Phil Wickham
Love So Great – Hillsong Worship
Eyes On Heaven – Central Music