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Top 10 Evangelism Mistakes, Number 9

Hanging out only with church friends

Who are all your friends? In other words, who do you spend most of your time with? Other followers of Jesus? If so, you are fairly typical.

Isn’t it ironic that the longer we are Christians, the fewer unbelieving friends we have? We get together with our believing friends on Sundays for worship, during the week for small group studies, and for various weekend activities, such as recreation, travel, and sports. We enjoy being with other Jesus followers. It is comfortable and relaxing. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

But wait—if our social life is full of activities with church friends we will have no time left for reaching unbelievers. There are just so many hours in a day.

Perhaps it is time to assess our priorities in life. Do we intend to follow the Great Commission, or are we satisfied with maintaining the status quo?

Jesus spent time with his disciples, but he also met and established relationships with lots of unbelieving people. When he was chastised for his actions, he said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick” (Matt 9:12).

How can we follow his example?

  1. Go to unbelievers. Sometimes they will come to us; but generally, we need to take the initiative and go to them. This means popping our comfortable Christian bubbles and stretching our relationship boundaries. We can do this by intentionally joining local organizations, like Rotary or Toastmaster’s, and volunteering for school functions. Stretching ourselves also means setting aside time in our social calendars for establishing new relationships.
  2. Serve the disenfranchised. Serving is more than helping in a soup kitchen or handing a few dollars to the homeless person on the corner. People are disenfranchised in many ways—financially, spiritually, or emotionally. One way we can serve others is by simply taking time to listen to their stories. Many people are hungry for companionship and just need someone to talk to.
  3. Develop relationships with unbelievers. Establishing relationships with unbelievers needs to be accomplished for pure reasons—not because we have ulterior or selfish motives. A relationship should be mutually beneficial and enjoyable for both parties.
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