Don't tell me, show me

Christian missionaries in Third World countries will tell you that a teaching ministry is much more effective if accompanied by a mercy ministry (clinic, agricultural training, disaster relief, water well drilling, etc.)

In post-Christian America we have come full circle. Christians and Christian churches would probably do well to envision themselves as missionaries and mission outposts once again. Their words can have an impact, but their words plus kind and authentic acts of joyful service make their overall witness much more powerful.

Jesus commissioned his disciples to be talkers. After all, language is needed to communicate the gospel of God’s mighty acts in history. But he commissioned them to be lovers of people as well, and that servant attitude is not optional: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this people will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34,35).

The history of the growth of the Christian church provides many examples of “show me” community service that we do as well as or better than anybody: child care, education, care for the elderly, teen mentoring, food and clothing distribution, and compassion for people with disabilities. Our world is starving for authentic love. The way we treat each other and the way we show love for our community show what we really think of Jesus.

Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.

 

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