Where I live in West Michigan, there's a huge cultural divide between people who go to church and people who don't. And there are so many religious people that the religious people rarely hang out with those who aren't part of their faith community. Sure, they go to work with people of all different faiths, but all their time outside of work is spent with family (who all live nearby) or the people from their church. So talking about evangelism in this context is a little tricky. It often seems like a huge, scary, unknown thing to walk outside of the familiar to branch out to those who don't know Jesus.
Yet Jesus modeled the incarnation for us. He left his place of comfort and security and perfection and came to earth to demonstrate the love of God. Not to say that church or faith community is always comfortable or secure--and it's certainly not perfect! But still, we should be following in Jesus's footsteps and looking outside the comfort of hanging out only with those who share our values and beliefs. We should be building real, sincere relationships. But how?
Kevin Harney writes in this weeks Outreach Magazine some tips for staying connected to people outside your church community. What do you think of his ideas?