October 20, 2005

Overcoming the Tendency to Fly Solo

Proverbs 27:17

17 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.


As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

Many Christians have a tendency to see witnessing as an individual enterprise, with each of us doing our own thing in isolation from others. Although reaching out to the lost has an individual side to it, it was never meant to be a solo enterprise. Remember that Jesus sent out 72 followers two-by-two (Luke 10:1), not one-by-one. Part of the joy of reaching out is that we do it together. Our proverb today reminds us that we are more effective when we work as a team rather than as a lone ranger.

Teaming up with God's Spirit and God's family allows each of us to offer our own unique contributions. We can be one of the links in the chain that leads someone to Christ. But we don't have to be the entire chain.

We know that physical reproduction is not the result of a solo effort. The same is true with spiritual reproduction. New believers are to be born and raised within a loving Christian community. The church is to be a maternity ward in which the cries of newborn babes in Christ are constantly heard.

The way to overcome this barrier is to team up with a partner, with a small group, or with an outreaching church. Pool your resources, share your gifts, encourage each other to become brighter lights for the Lord. Enlist yourself in God's search-and-rescue team. It will prove to be your greatest joy.

Lord, help us to band together as believers, forming contagious Christian communities. May we work together to invite, include, and enfold people into your love. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Dan Jongsma

Daniel Jongsma serves as an interim pastor in Fulton, Illinois. He has pastored congregations in Elmhurst and Fulton, Illinois; in Dearborn, Michigan; and in Nashville, Tennessee. Dan also served as a church planter in the Chicago area. He and his wife, Gloria, have three daughters and four grandchildren.

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