It’s all about the people.
Numbers are cold. Programs suck energy. Traditions stifle creativity. People are creations of God while the rest are creations of people. On which do you think God prefers us to focus?
Looking at the life and times of Jesus we see that we was about people.
His birth intersected with people. Mary’s life would never be the same. As a young virgin, she became pregnant and remained a virgin until after the birth. She would not be the same after an angelic visit and a Holy Spirit visit. Joseph had an angelic visit also reminding him that the traditions of the people must take a backseat to the desires of God in this moment. The shepherds and the magi would be affected as well by the birth of God as a human. Not all people enjoyed this news of the birth of Jesus. The Bible reports that Herod and all Jerusalem were troubled. Even as a baby, Jesus was working with and through (literally) people.
Why do we want programs? Why must we focus on projects? It’s all about the people.
His youth intersected with people. We find Jesus sitting with the Pharisees as a teenager. He is talking and discussing things with them? Jesus wanted to spend time with another generation. He engaged them. He conversed with them. He did not set up a new temple outreach program. He did not begin a new temple worship. He spent time with people.
In the early days of ministry, Jesus walked by a commercial fishing establishment. He called out to the men. Look at Mark 1.
16 As He was passing along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, Simon’s brother. They were casting a net into the sea, since they were fishermen.17 “Follow Me,” Jesus told them, “and I will make you fish for people!” 18 Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. 19 Going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in their boat mending their nets. 20 Immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed Him.
“I will make you fish for people.” What did Jesus mean?
1. He wants a unified focus on people. I am not a hater of programs because they can systematically help us reach people. My problem is that we set up a good program and then simply work to keep up the mechanics and disregard the meaning.
2. He wants us to come into people’s lives and make a difference. We all have friends. We all have family. So did Jesus. He left heaven to come to and for you. Let us make room for some new people in our lives. They are not projects. They are just new people who can make a difference in your life and you in theirs.
3. He wants us to mix it up generationally. Spend time with people outside your age-group. Take the time to visit other Bible study classes and groups within the church. Go to the coffee shop early and hang out with the guys. Sit with someone 30-50 years different from your age (not family) in church or the bus or at a community gathering. We gather in our holy huddles and build our walls of misinformation and miscommunication.
4. He wants you to bring people to God. People are not projects. People need Jesus. Find a common interest and establish a relationship with someone. Maybe they know Jesus. Maybe they do not. Build a bridge and go over it.
Are you a people person? Jesus was.