3. We let our agenda be “conversion” over love.
I want to be careful in how I say this, because I am not at all undermining Jesus’ command in the Great Commission. But sometimes we focus on converting people instead of loving them, and that’s where I think we are disliked the most.
I’ve heard people on the receiving end of evangelism compare it to your experience at a used car lot. Someone who doesn’t know you is trying to sell you something—something you’re not sure you want in the first place.
While evangelism is part of our job, and the Great Commission is something we should be working to fulfill, we should be doing it a whole lot more like Jesus did it—through love.
The people Jesus was harshest with were the people who claimed to know him—religious people who were missing the point altogether. Love was always the point, and love is what Jesus showed to the people who didn’t know him, the people whose lives were changed most radically.
We’d find our audience much more receptive, and ourselves much more likable, if we focused on making disciples through love instead of through apologetics.
Being a Christian is a hard balance to walk.
We want to be true to our beliefs no matter what—even if that comes at the price of not being liked for them. But often I think the opinions of those outside the church can be used as a spotlight, highlighting places in us where we’re missing the mark or off from where Jesus wanted us to be.
Let’s not compromise ourselves for the sake of popularity, but rather let’s respect the feedback we’re being given and use it to take a good hard look at ourselves and the way we’re coming across. We’ll be better for it.