My Top 10 Outreach Misfires: Mistake #4. Not having patience with people coming to Christ.

“How long does it take for someone to come to Christ?” Can we put a timeframe on people’s trek to Jesus? To listen to the (usually) ungifted ones who dole out funds to outreach efforts, one might conclude such things can be quantified.

I believe it takes numerous defining events in a person’s life before he comes to Christ. People need to have a personal revelation about God before they are willing to respond to the Gospel of Christ. They need repeated such touches with his presence before they are able to believe and be saved. Once people understand that God is real and that he is for them it is rather bring them to God.

There are lots of biblical examples of people in both the Old and New Testaments that had a short or lengthy journey into an intimate relationship with God. God was at work in all their lives. He called the shots and wooed them into relationship. Moses was prepped for following after God for 80 years—much of that time in harsh conditions shepherding in the desert. David had a tender heart and was apparently following after the Living God by the time he was a young teen. Samuel was even younger when he started hearing the audible voice of God. Saul-Paul was a slow convert. He apparently watched the coats of those who stoned Stephen as a youngster only much later to be confronted by God in dramatic fashion.
“Everybody is somewhere” – Steve Allen
God is inviting everyone to follow Jesus. Not everyone will respond to the invitation of the Holy Spirit to follow Jesus. “Many are called, few choose” is a more literal take on Jesus’ words. Our job isn’t to worry about those who aren’t responding to the message of the Good News. We serve them all, and keep on serving them, then leave the results to God. The minute we focus on the results we are sunk. There will be plenty of results, but those come and go like the planting, watering and harvesting Paul referred to (1 Cor. 3:6). In a time of harvest abundance is the rule. In a time of planting, not so much. Keep showing up. Your harvest is coming. It might be right around the corner.

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