“Spheres of Influence”
As we saw this past Sunday, everyone has people around them – co-workers, fellow students, neighbors, acquaintances, family – these make up our “sphere of influence.” These are the people God has put us among; they are the people we know and who know us; and Jesus died on the cross for them just as much as he died for you! Beginning this coming Sunday (May 12), we be looking at the “iNeighborhood” Initiative from the Southeastern District in conjunction with our study of the Book of Acts (Sundays at 9:30 am –OR- Wednesdays at 7:00 pm).
People seek relationships. Nobody likes to go out to eat alone (ask me, I’ll tell you about it), because there is no one to talk with or interact with. You simply eat, pay the check, and go home. That is why people will sometimes find themselves in music venues and bars – to be with other people.
The early Church grew through relationships. It started as early as Jesus calling Philip to follow him, who then goes to his friend, Nathanael and invites him to follow Jesus, too (John 1:43-51). Personal testimonies and faith invitations travel via personal relationships – a friend who talks to a friend who talks a co-worker who talks to their spouse, etc.
As we saw on Sunday, the church serves as the place where our faith-witnessed is formed; from that “Jerusalem,” we are called to go into the Judea-community where our “spheres of influence” are found among people like us; and, sometimes, we go out to our Samaria-area among people we normally don’t mess with, but who are just in need of the Gospel as anyone else.
[Did you miss worship on Sunday? Go to www.rlcnn.org and check out the Sermon on Acts 1: “Understanding What the Church Is All About”]
Statistically, the majority of the people around you are not Christians. Many of them may have never heard the Gospel of God’s love in the face of man’s sin that restores our righteousness through the sacrifice of his Son by faith. If YOU don’t tell them, who will? If you don’t say something TODAY, when will you – and, may it be too late? Again – your “sphere of influence” are the people who are your friends, acquaintances, co-workers, and neighbors. God put them into your life; he put you into their life – and then says, “You will be witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”