Mostly, Christians think outreach needs a team or group. They may refer to Jesus sending out his disciples two by two. But that is only part of the story.
Dr. Cynthia now shares with us something you will rarely hear: Christians should consider doing outreach alone. Here you learn reasons for that.
First, remember that Jesus sent his disciples two by two at a certain time for specified reasons. This was before Jesus’ death and resurrection, before the Great Commission, and before the empowerment by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. It was not given as an everlasting procedural command.
By way of contrast, the Old Testament prophets often served alone. In her several decades of experience doing outreach, Dr. C has found that insisting on a group dramatically slows down outreach activities. It inhibits rapid spread of the gospel to the immigrants flooding the West from regions which have never heard it. And it gives an excuse for staying home.
Dr. C does love to have an outreach partner. They pray together before and after outreach and share their experiences for mutual encouragement. But in our busy lives it is very difficult to arrange, even if we can find other interested Christians. So, should we forsake outreach, or limit it to once or twice a year?
Our master Jesus commands us to share. God sent people from remote and restricted regions to live near us in the West so that they could hear and experience the gospel (Acts 17). He gave us the Holy Spirit to empower us, and to convict us to share the gospel of love with them. Yet we find many reasons not to.
In this video, Dr. C presents three big benefits of doing outreach alone:
* Flexibility – it takes a lot of time and effort to coordinate a schedule with a team, or a single other outreach partner. Even then, cancellations complicate the plans and can shut them down. Going alone avoids this frustrating waste.
* Short Notice – if we bear in mind the idea of outreach as a part of our lives and are prepared to go alone spiritually and physically (with materials), when time unexpectedly opens up in our day we can easily fit in an hour or more of outreach.
* Approachability – when we go up to someone alone and with a smile, we are less intimidating. It is easy for our smile to be seen as well-meaning, and easier for our materials to be received. The connection is more immediate. Conversations are congenial. Word and Esther Bridges are more easily formed. (More on these bridges in other videos)