Reaching widely: stretching out to our limits or just extending a hand?
by Samuel Lee
During one of the sessions at this year’s church camp, Pastor Edmund shared about reaching out to those far from God. As Jesus’ command to us before He ascended to heaven, the Great Commission is something that’s constantly on my mind; how we should always be reaching out, why we may be hesitant, what steps can we take to overcome these barriers, how can we reach out as an individual/small group/church, etc.
So I'll be sharing about what our camp speaker told us during this session and how it spoke to me.
One point he mentioned was that we can reach out by simply sharing the good news. We may not all be preachers, but we can all share our story. And when the sharing comes from a friend/family, the recipient will tend to be more open and willing to listen since they’ll know it’s not to promote a product but to have a very real and serious conversation.
If you were to ask around what holds you back from talking to your friend about your faith, their answer would likely be - fear of reaction. Whether that reaction is to be judged, to be lashed out at, to be ridiculed, or to lose a friend completely. But we should remember that in the end, we can’t change people’s hearts and minds, only God can so pray for power via the Holy Spirit and for His divine intervention in their life. A wise man also once told me it is ok to be a fool for God.
Another hurdle might be that we’re scared if we are a good enough testament for others. But instead of thinking about it as “I am good enough so I can share about Christ” we should be sharing that because we are imperfect and weak, that is why we need Christ. If we are genuine and humble ourselves, people will be able to see that even after believing, we may not have a smooth sailing life, that we still have struggles and face challenges but because we have Him walking by our side through that storm, we can cling on to His promise that He will restore everything and continue walking forward.
Many a times I overthink the situation, wanting to iron out details and have a solid plan before reaching out, resulting in missed opportunities. Even with a plan, I may force myself to wait for the “right” timing or opportunity. But I have come to realise there are actually plenty of opportunities around me and all it takes is a little courage and step of faith. Pastor Edmund shared that it might not be people we like or expect but we need to be open and sensitive to God’s prompting because God will give us opportunities to connect with those who need Him.
Reaching out to others need not be very direct and in the form of bold sharings all the time. By consistently reflecting God’s love and light in the form of acts of kindness, a simple gesture can be enough to reach somebody’s heart and sow a seed in them. So I would like to end my sharing but reminding us to be kind to everybody, not just one another.
Samuel Lee is a member of CCMC Young Adults. He attended the CCMC Church Camp held on 2-4 June 2023 in Kuala Lumpur.