Today, I had the opportunity to share some of the ideas I shared in Not Like Me: A Field Guide for Influencing a Diverse World at Gateway Church in Austin. Here are some of the thoughts I shared:
We should never allow our convictions on theology, morality, or politics become a litmus test for friendship.
Too often we misunderstand the purpose of the church. “The church is not here to meet our needs. We are the church here to meet the needs of the world.” – Erwin McManus
When Jesus invited a motley crew of fisherman and tax collectors to follow Him, He invited them to follow Him and “become fishers of men” (Mt. 4:19).
It seems odd that He doesn’t invite them to follow Him so they can go to heaven, so He can meet their needs, or so He can teach them great things since these “benefits of following Christ” seem to be the message most churches share.
Jesus does not invite us to follow Him for what we can get, but He invites us to follow Him for what we can give! We can be a part of serving, loving, and impacting people around us!
Jesus calls us to love our neighbor, but do we even know our neighbor’s name?
The church should be known for being loving and authentic rather than exclusive and judgmental.
Jonah would have rather died than to see the people of Nineveh turn to God. He wanted to see them destroyed and feared that God would forgive them. Fortunately for the people of Nineveh, God’s character always leans towards forgiveness and mercy. (see Jonah 3:10-4:3)
Like Jonah, too often we tend to limit who we think God loves.
Even though I have been tough on Jonah, in the end, after being rescued, Jonah did go into the city (Jonah 3:3). Will we?
For more, see “The Suicidal Missionary” article at the Catalyst website.
Listen to Not Like Me chapter 10 -The Mosque Next Door: Building Relationships with the Religious (includes the story about Kidnapping a Muslim)
www.NotLikeMe.org includes articles, messages, films, & small group materials.
To watch or listen to this message, go to www.gatewaychurch.com/podcast.