Sometimes the state of our world can feel overwhelming. Turn on the news and you’ll be sure to see any number of stories that can be disheartening, and now more than ever it feels like time is running out. What if something bad happens? What if there is another war? What if, what if, what if…
As seminary students, you have probably noticed an interesting phenomenon occurs inside the Church when this type of mindset prevails. When it feels like we are short on time we begin to change the ways in which we witness. It’s good to be motivated to share the Word of God and to reach out to people in need–after all, that’s why you’ve chosen Colorado Theological Seminary to help you on your path to ministry. But there are ways of witnessing that are less than helpful. Don’t worry, though! The Bible gives us all the guidance we need to be able to navigate these situations without turning people away from God.
Relax, God’s in Charge
The most important thing we need to remember when the waters are rising is that we aren’t alone. God tells us through his word: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1 NIV). When we focus on God’s power, there is no more reason to be afraid.
Called to Love
It is equally as important to remember just how Christ instructed us to interact with one another. When the Pharisees asked Him which was the greatest commandment, He gave them not one but two: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39 NIV). Notice that there are no conditions here. It does not say “love your neighbor if…” Extending compassion to people whom we disagree with can be a challenge, which leads us to our last point…
It’s Not About You
Sometimes we get so caught up in our passion that we forget the true purpose of ministry: to bring glory to God. Also, remember that Jesus called us to love one another, not to save each other. The distinction might not be clear-cut at first but consider what the apostle Paul writes about Jesus in Acts 4:11,12: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (NIV). The act of “saving” someone belongs solely to Jesus. Ours is but to love.
As future ministry leaders, we can’t forget what matters the most. Every day, God should be at the center of our actions, especially as we witness to the world. Even when it feels like time isn’t on our side, God’s Word reminds us that we have nothing to fear. Ultimately, the choice to be saved is a personal one and no amount of witnessing or cajoling will cause someone to take that leap. All we can do is follow, love, and trust!