QUESTION: If your church could reach more people for Christ by focusing on one “people group” in your community, would you do so?
Charles Arn writes: Certain people around your church are more receptive to the Gospel than others. I suggest that good stewardship of your church’s human and fiscal resources calls you to find and focus on these receptive people. They are the “fertile soil” (see Mt. 13:1-23) who are “ripe unto harvest” (Jn. 4:35). And your successful evangelistic results will be praised by the Master with the same words heard by those who returned more talents than they had been given: “Well done, good and faithful servant” (see Mt. 25:14-30).
The “Receptivity-Resistance Axis” below illustrates a person’s openness to becoming a new creation in Christ. Every non-Christian is somewhere on this Axis.
Some people are open and responsive to the Good News—the “good soil,” as Christ described them in the Parable of the Sower. Others are resistant to the Gospel—the rocky soil. When Jesus concluded this parable with, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear,” I believe he was suggesting that the Good News we proclaim will not be received with equal receptivity. And we are called to identify those who will hear, listen, and respond.
It is also important to note that people are always moving on this Receptivity-Resistance Axis; some are moving toward greater receptivity, others toward greater resistance.
A key question I hope you’re asking is: “How do we identify the receptive people in our community?”
So… how are YOU identifying people in your community?