Christians often try to witness to someone by hanging out with them. Do you know what typically happens?
They nearly always become more like the person they are trying to reach, and the person they are trying to reach often either doesn’t move at all or they move further away from Christ.
Why does this happen?
When you spend time on a regular basis with someone who is not saved, you expose yourself frequently to their lifestyle. Depending on how deep they are in sin, you could bring temptation right up to your doorstep. The battle then may become a battle within you to avoid temptation instead of an outreach to win them.
This is because you expose yourself to all sorts of situations and potential confrontations. It is hard to stand against it. It’s particularly hard to stand if you are alone.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Here’s a thought. Don’t we struggle enough without seeking out temptation?
Here’s another thought. If you fall in the process, you become just like them. What happens to your witness? I caution you here to not think it won’t happen to you. It happens to lots of folks.
However, there is a way to witness to the lost that does not involve your hanging out with them. Go share the gospel as a group, and then leave.
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
That is just good sound advice for anything you are doing. Teams are always better.
Consider Jesus. Jesus gave many people eternal life, but He did not hang out day in and day out with the same individual or group of individuals for the express purpose of converting them. The 12 that accompanied him were his disciples. Judas was, of course, a part of the group so that scripture would be fulfilled when he betrayed Jesus.
Consider Paul and his missionary teams in scripture. Others pretty much always accompanied Paul. Luke, Timothy, Barnabas and Silas were each with him for a while. For a while, Aquila and Priscilla went along with him.
Make a point to go as a team. Jesus had a team – not that he would fall, and Paul was part of a team. Let them serve as your example. Do as they did.
Today’s challenge is to pray before you set out to reach the world for Jesus. Have a plan. Ask God who He would have to be a part of your missionary team and where He would have you to witness. The person He wants you to reach may not be the one you think. At times God may use the person you take with you, and at times He may use you. Be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.