An article was recently published in Christianity Today magazine called “The Craziest Statistic You’ll Read About North American Missions.”
The article gave evidence to the growing number of non-Christians living in the United States and Canada that do not know any Christians. The stats show that if agnostics and atheists are excluded, close to 60 percent of non-Christians fall into this category. That’s over 13 million people living in the US that do not know a Christian!
Is one of them sitting in the cubicle next to you at work? Maybe it’s your child’s soccer coach? Is one of them mowing your grass in the summer? Are their kids playing with your children in the back yard? Who are these people and why are we not befriending them?
According to the article, although movements have been initiated in order to create purposeful interreligious dialogue,
“They’re still rare compared to the apparent apathy among Christians about befriending non-Christians.”
Apathy, otherwise defined as: lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern.
There may be many reasons for this lack of interest but I see none as glaring as our simple need for a vision of transformation outside of ourselves. Our lives have become so consumed with attending to our own personal needs that we have become blinded to the needs of those around us. If we are going to be the salt and light of this world as Jesus commands in Matthew 5:13-16 then we have to overcome our self consumption and begin seeing the world from God’s perspective.
The need for a jolt
It seems to me the church needs a jolt of missional Mountain Dew! A re-energizing to see the world around us everyday as an opportunity to worship and serve the God we love. As the people of God we need to see the vision of how God wants to use us to reach the lost, vulnerable, poor and marginalized in our culture with His love. We need projects and initiatives that train our people on poverty and God’s heart for the poor and that teach and equip the body of Christ to share their faith through words and good deeds with the people in their lives. We need to befriend the 13 million people in this country who have no Christian friends!
As mentioned in our earlier blog on Living as Missional People: A Beginners Guide we must become a people intentional about building relationships. A friendship is built upon relationship and relationships change lives.
Do the Dew
Who do you know that needs to become your friend? How might God be calling you to step out of your comfort zone and become a friend with someone different than you? Make it your goal this week to start a friendship with a non-Christian. Give it your time, effort and intentionality and see what opportunities God may give you to share a small glimpse of the kingdom. Take the plunge and drink the missional Mountain Dew!Image courtesy of Marykinss. / Flickr.com